Ground Water Contamination Causes Concern

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

The 7 acre property belonged to the city originally, but was donated to the Air National Guard in the 1950's.

There was a stipulation that if the guard was done with it, to give it back to the city. However, before they moved and abandoned the building they found they might have one small problem underground contamination.

The property at 579 Westgate Parkway has been empty for the past year.

While it was occupied by the 280th Air National Guard, it had underground fuel storage tanks.

When those storage tanks were removed, along with the soil around them, a situation arose.

The city of Dothan's General Service Director Larry Muench says, "What has happened is apparently is evidently the underground storage fuel tanks has some leaking in them, which allowed gasoline and fuel to leak in to the soil"

And with rain water, going into the soil---that fuel was also leaked into the groundwater system.

Still, there are other issues at hand, for instance...neighboring Westgate Park, a local church, and businesses nearby.

"From all we've seen, the contamination itself is contained within a small area around where those storage tanks were in the ground" Muench says.

The state is currently developing a remediation plan to see what can be done about the contaminated ground water. Until the plan is approved, the city has to wait and see what happens.

And how long is that? The time frame depends on the degree of the problem, and how they plan to approach it.


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