OLD PAYSON DRY CLEANERS
PAYSON, GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Office of Environmental Health, has been requested by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to evaluate the potential health effects of exposure to private well water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE), for domestic uses other than drinking. The well in question serves a 19 unit trailer park, and the contamination was discovered during routine groundwater monitoring of the Old Payson Dry Cleaners state superfund site in May of 1998.
The town of Payson is located in the central mountainous region of Arizona. It is approximately 65 miles northeast of Phoenix, and has a population of 8,377. The primary area of contamination is a commercial site located at the intersection of Aero Drive and South Meadow Street, where the highest levels of PCE were detected in monitoring wells during ADEQ's initial characterization of the site. The suspected source of the contamination is the Old Payson Dry Cleaners, which was located at 906 South Beeline Highway when it was in operation during the late 1970's and early 1980's.
The Old Payson Dry Cleaners site is an Arizona Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) site currently undergoing interim remediation actions. ADEQ sampled private wells and monitoring wells down gradient of the site, the Old Payson Dry Cleaners, during routine monitoring. The trailer park well three months earlier had shown PCE at a level of 6 ug/L, but had now increased to a level of 16 ug/L, again exceeding the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 5 µg/L for PCE in drinking water.
The trailer park well serves 19 units, and falls short of the 25 unit requirement for classification as a semi-public well, and is therefore not regulated by the drinking water section of ADEQ. However, upon receiving the sampling results, the owner of the contaminated well was immediately advised by the WQARF program at ADEQ to stop using the well for drinking water purposes. All the residents of the trailer park are currently being supplied bottled water by ADEQ. However, residents are still using the contaminated water for other domestic uses. There are twenty three people living at the trailer park who range in age from children to the elderly.