County garage project enters next phase
Clean up of petroleum contamination from the Norfolk County garage on the Queensway West in Simcoe has cost an estimated $2.2 million so far. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER FILE
Norfolk County has paid a steep price for past careless practices at the municipal garage on the Queensway West.
Cleaning up contaminated soil and groundwater arising from decades of petro-chemical pollution has so far cost $2.2 million.
The next phase – cleaning up soil beneath the woodlot immediately east of the garage – will cost about $903,000. Engineering fees to date have totalled $337,000.
The numbers are contained in a memo to Norfolk council from Bob Fields, Norfolk’s manager of environmental services.
In his report, Fields says soil remediation in front of the Norfolk OPP detachment on the Queensway West is nearly complete.
A total of 170 truckloads of soil weighing 5,900 tonnes were removed from the site over the course of the project. Soil and groundwater tests indicate the site has been cleaned to Ministry of the Environment standards.
Recent work includes the installation of a 15,000-kilogram activated charcoal wall in the ground east of Rob Blake Way, which serves as the entrance to Norview Lodge. The wall will trap and treat hydrocarbon residue that migrates through the ground east of the county garage.
The next phase will see treatment equipment in front of the OPP detachment relocated to the woodlot immediately east of the garage.
Groundwater will continue to be filtered and pumped back into the aquifer. A remedial action plan will be devised for the soil and contamination under Rob Blake Way, the woodlot, and the county garage.
This next phase should be up and running in December.
“This treatment system will remain in place for the next several years while the remaining contamination is addressed,” Fields says in his memo.
A total of $4.2 million has been budgeted for the cleanup. This project has been underway for several years.
The pollution at issue is largely the result of in-ground fuel tanks that leaked gasoline into the soil over the span of decades. Vehicles parked at the facility have also leaked fluids over the years.
The cleanup is a priority because the contamination plume underground was flowing east in the direction of the Cedar Street well field, which is one of three major sources of tap water in Simcoe.