Ameren Missouri begins EPA-approved groundwater treatment measures at Huster substation

Published on February 13, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Treatment of decades-old cleaning solvents that leached into the groundwater beneath Ameren Missouri’s Huster substation in St. Charles, Missouri, began this week under the supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This mission includes deploying targeting chemicals directly underneath the substation site to destroy residual solvents and installing subsurface barriers at specific locations. The barriers cause a reaction that captures any remaining suspended residuals in the groundwater before it leaves the property. Additionally, a series of extraction wells and an above-ground groundwater capture system will contain and treat on-site groundwater.

Work is expected to complete by the end of March, after which a monitoring period will follow.

“Ameren Missouri remains committed to the safety of St. Charles residents,” Craig Giesmann, director of environmental services at Ameren Missouri, said. “The drinking water in St. Charles remains safe. We are also committed to working cooperatively with the EPA to address groundwater impacts at and near the Huster substation.”

In addition to the EPA supervision, independent experts informed the cleanup approach. The work stemmed from ongoing cleanup efforts the company has pushed to identify and implement technologies that will reduce Huster’s on-site and potential off-site impacts. Dr. Ray Ferrara, one of the water issue experts tapped for the project, noted that similar methods have worked in various instances across the country.

Based on such experiences, a reduction in concentration levels in the groundwater is expected by early summer 2023.