During this testing TCE and t-DCE were found beneath the foundation of Water Gremlin’s North Campus building. Environmental experts are confident this is limited to a small area at our facility, but are doing more testing to ensure this is the case. We have notified our employees, and our indoor vapor testing shows rates are well below OSHA standards. All data suggests that there is no immediate threat to human health or the environment.
As part of our agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, our facilities are being thoroughly tested for any potential contamination issues. This includes testing for vapor intrusion, which happens when chemical vapors from contaminated groundwater or soil move through the soil into basements or through the foundations of buildings.
The t-DCE vapors were detected in shallow soil levels beneath the floor slab in spaces where it is used in operations. T-DCE traveled through the air space beneath the floor slab through a building respiration process. Negative air pressure is maintained in rooms where coating is conducted, and slight fluctuations in air pressure can occur when doors open and close. This can cause air containing t-DCE vapors to migrate through the slab into the airspace below it.
To resolve this matter, we will install a vapor mitigation system – much like a home radon system – in the coming weeks. As a reminder, all sources of drinking water including private wells in the area have been tested and determined to have no contamination.
We will continue to share updates related to the testing at our facilities. For more information about vapor intrusion at industrial sites, click here. If you have questions about the potential health risks from TCE and other air pollutants, contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-4897.