Monitor wells installed for UA water protection
Three wells are being installed in university parking lots to provide water samples that will determine possible future contamination to UA water supplies.
Layne Christensen Company, a contractor working for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, began installing the groundwater wells near the University of Arizona Jan. 6. The drilling will end Jan. 22.
In 1990, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality found that an aquifer one mile south of the UA was contaminated by two carcinogenic chemicals - tetracloroethylene (PCE) and tricloroethylene (TCE).
UA officials last summer reported that no drinking water was contaminated but announced they would work with ADEQ to increase campus testing to monitor the problem.
The first well, located in the parking lot at East Seventh Street and North Fremont Avenue, and the second at East Eighth Street and North Mountain Avenue are both complete.
Drilling on the third well, located at East Seventh Street and North Cherry Avenue, is currently in progress.
"We know that the drilling has been causing some noise, and we apologize for any inconvenience," said Matt Doolen, project manager.
"We are trying to accommodate the students and appreciate all the support the U of A has given us," Doolen said.
He said there is a very slight chance that contaminated water will show up in the samples, since no evidence has been found yet.
"Even if there are signs of contamination, it will not reach the U of A water for at least 25 years," Doolen said.
Community Involvement Coordinator Eileen Palese, who has been trying to raise the interests of Tucson citizens and the UA, is asking students to apply for a position on the Park-Euclid Community Advisory Board.
"We appreciate the way that the U of A has dealt with the construction and hope they would like to be involved with the investigation," Palese said.
UA facilities workers also detected illness-causing coliform bacteria in two campus sites - the Forbes Building, 1140 E. South Campus Dr., and the McKale Center, 1721 E. Enke Dr. - last July.