Twenty two water wells to be tested

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DOYLINE — Officials with the Army National Guard along with Camp Minden Citizen Advisory Group members narrowed down where water well sampling will take place.

Bonnie Packer, Army National Guard project manager contract support, goes over a map of Camp Minden to determine the water wells off site that will be sampled for explosives, emerging contaminants and volatile chemicals. Michelle Bates/Press-Herald
Bonnie Packer, Army National Guard project manager contract support, goes over a map of Camp Minden to determine the water wells off site that will be sampled for explosives, emerging contaminants and volatile chemicals. Michelle Bates/Press-Herald
During a meeting Thursday in Doyline, discussion centered on the southern boundary of Camp Minden where 22 wells, a 10-12 split between public and private wells, will be sampled to test for contaminants from the days of the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant.

Bonnie Packer, Army National Guard project manager contract support, says they will be testing for traces of explosives, emerging contaminants and volatiles.

“Every well we test will be tested for the same contaminants,” she said.

The wells to be tested will be a cross section of water supply and private wells between Boone Creek and Caney Creek that feeds into Clark Bayou. Boone and Caney Creeks run through Camp Minden.

Packer says they will be testing both groundwater in shallow and monitoring wells as well as surface water sampling.

Once they’ve gotten a good idea of what the community wants as far as where to test, Packer says they will come back in a few months and make a recommendation. Another meeting will be set up to get feedback from the public on that recommendation.

In order to test the private wells, Packer made it clear that not only will they have to get the homeowner’s permission to sample but those results will not be made public.

Homeowners will get a letter in the mail, if signed, will give the government 24-month access to draw samples.

“This doesn’t mean that we’re going to be on your property for two years,” she said. “We might come once, maybe twice.”

Rick Smith, with USACE-RPEC, says they won’t do anything inside the home, but they will sample outside, such as from a spigot or water hose.

“We will not do anything but obtain a sample from a well that someone owns,” he said. “We’re not going do anything, we’re not going to move anything. Nothing. All we’re going to do is turn on a tap and turn it back.”

The surface water sampling will be a 24-hour composite, where they will go in and sample the water every hour for 24 hours.

“Our primary purpose is to assure the public that our water is safe,” Ron Hagar, CMCAG chair, said.
Packer says they will take samples either in early or late fall, with results to present to the public possibly by January or February 2017.

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