November 4, 2013

Monmouth textile company expands well testing

Tex Tech Industries is testing 25 to 30 wells in addition to the 22 that they already monitor.

By Paul Koenig pkoenig@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The discovery of a contaminant in a new well in Monmouth last spring led Tex Tech Industries to expand its well water testing last week to include water from more than two dozen homes around the company’s manufacturing plant.

The company, which makes textiles for a variety of uses, including tennis balls and bulletproof vests, has been regularly testing the water from 11 residential and 11 on-site wells since 1990, but last week was the first time about 25 to 30 other area household wells were tested, according the spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The households were sent letters earlier in October notifying them of the testing and requesting information about their wells.

Results from the testing are expected to be back by the end of the year.

The contaminant, a chlorinated volatile organic compound, or CVOC, was first discovered in well water near the Monmouth plant in 1987, said Jessamine Logan, DEP’s spokeswoman.

Logan said the contaminant is from solvents used while cleaning textiles at the plant in the early 1970s to the early 1980s.

After discovering the containment last spring, the first detection since 1987, Tex Tech rehabilitated some of the abutting wells and sampled water from the homes nearby, Logan said. The company expanded the testing to the 25 to 30 other households in an effort to be more thorough, she said.

Officials at Tex Tech didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Logan said the DEP will be reviewing the test results to see if additional work is needed. That could include the installation of point-of-entry treatment systems for any houses with issues, as the company did with the well where the contaminant was detected last year.

Tex Tech contracted with AMEC, a multinational engineering and project management company with an office in Portland, to conduct the testing, according to Logan.

Paul Koenig can be contacted at 621-5663 or at:

pkoenig@centralmaine.com

Twitter: paul_koenig

 

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