Ensure Problem Doesn’t Recur

Taxpayers may have to pay as much as $1 million to remove a dangerous contaminant from a well used to provide water to Bridgeport homes, schools and businesses. In the process of doing that, efforts should be made to keep the problem from recurring.

During a meeting last week, Bridgeport Village Council authorized Mayor John Callarik to accept a $1 million loan from the state. Although some of the money will not have to be repaid, the village still will be on the hook for $700,000.

Village water Superintendent Jim Zorbini emphasized no contaminated water has been pumped to customers. Other wells have been used in place of the contaminated one, he explained.

The problem dates back to 1996, when trichloroethylene was found in the well. The chemical is used in dry cleaning.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules require the contamination be cleaned up, Zorbini noted.

Presumably, water from the well can be used once the cleanup process is completed.

But from where did the trichloroethylene come? How did it get into the water well? And most important, is there a possibility more of the chemical will contaminate the well?

No doubt village officials are having to swallow hard to go ahead with the project, as $700,000 is a lot of money for a village the size of Bridgeport.

In order to avoid similar problems in the future, part of the work of cleaning up the well should be ensuring no more trichloroethylene can seep into it.