Solution could be on its way for water contamination in Freeman

ROCKFORD, Wash. – People living in the Freeman area have been dealing with water contamination for many years with no solution. However, that could soon change.

The Washington Department of Ecology has been investigating the contamination that stemmed from the Grain Handling Facility at the Freeman site.

It’s an issue that residents said has been going on for far too long.

“That’s why we’re taking action,” said Sandra Treccani with the Department of Ecology.

In January 2001, a chemical known as carbon tetrachloride was detected in the water supply for the Freeman School District.

“But they were below the human health standards,” said Treccani.

Meaning that the water was still considered safe to drink. It wasn’t until 2008 that the contamination levels were considered dangerous.

“Lab results would indicate that there is a chance of there being something bad happening above that level,” Treccani said.

The district continues to monitor the drinking water and has also installed a treatment system. However, experts said without a plan the contamination could continue to grow.

“We would like to get something operational now so we can start taking care of the contaminated ground water and not have to sit and wait for two more years until a full scale system is ready,” Treccani said.

The temporary fix would be a groundwater extraction and treatment system.

“We’ll have a single well with a pump and four injection wells,” Treccani said.

The well would pump the contaminated ground water to the surface. The contamination would then be removed before the water is put back into the well.

“We think it’s a good proposal but we don’t know for sure until we hear back from people in the community as to whether they agree with it,” said Treccani.

The Department of Ecology wants you to be part of the conversation. You can attend their public meeting on March 4 at 6:30 p.m.