The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added the Cabo Rojo Ground Water Contamination site in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and the Hormigas Ground Water Plume site in Caguas to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites.
Sampling at the sites found chemical contamination that is impacting wells once used to supply drinking water to the local communities. Residents of the Cabo Rojo and Hormigas communities currently receive drinking water from different sources that is safe to consume.
The Cabo Rojo Urbano public water system has 6 drinking water wells that serve about 48,500 people. Groundwater samples collected found tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, solvents used in industrial processes. In an effort to identify the source of contamination, EPA conducted investigations at 68 facilities and collected soil and ground water samples from 13 facilities.
EPA’s investigation has not yet identified the source of groundwater contamination in the drinking water wells and further investigations will be conducted. The contamination detected in the Cabo Rojo wells that are still in operation is below levels of concern.