Last updated Oct. 16, 2017

1. Is my drinking water contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE)?

TCE has not been detected in the municipal wells currently used for drinking water in the Camdenton area. The city of Camdenton operates the public water system, which receives water from a series of municipal wells in the area. The state of Missouri has high standards for public water systems and requires testing for as many as 91 different regulated chemicals, including TCE. The detection limit for TCE is 0.5 µg/L (micrograms per liter or parts per billion (ppb)). If future samples do show the presence of TCE in excess of regulatory standards in any of these municipal wells, that information will be made public.

Groundwater from the Mulberry Well is not used for drinking water and has not been since 1999. The city currently operates the Mulberry Well, as needed, to remove TCE from the groundwater. The Mulberry Well is tested for TCE monthly. 

If you are not on city water and live near any of the locations being investigated, please contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for the latest information on the department’s sampling efforts for private wells.

2. Is the sewer line a potential source of contamination? Could vapors enter my house from the sewer system?

Yes, it is possible. If a sewer line is not sealed tight, or, if the sewer backflow prevention valve is not adequately sealed, vapor could potentially enter a home. If you smell sewer gas or other chemical odors coming from drains or plumbing, contact the city of Camdenton’s Public Works at 573-346-7293. If you are in close proximity to areas that have previously been tested, the Hulett Lagoon or the former Modine manufacturing facility, then you may also wish to contact the department’s project manager, Christine Kump-Mitchell at 314-416-2464.

3. Will the vapors be coming up through the soil and is it safe to go outside? Is it safe to do gardening and yard work?

Vapor intrusion is only a concern with enclosed spaces or buildings where vapors can accumulate and become concentrated. In an outdoor setting, TCE vapors will quickly disperse into the air. There is no known residential surface soil contamination, so gardening or working in the soil in the yard does not cause exposure to TCE.

4. How long has TCE been in the ground at this site?

Prior to Modine operating at the Sunset Drive facility, its predecessors generated TCE waste during degreasing operations beginning in the 1970s and ending in December 1990. When Modine took over operations at the facility, they discontinued TCE use and began using 1,1,1- Trichloroethane (TCA) as a degreasing agent.

It is not known exactly when TCE release(s) occurred. There was a major fire at the facility in 1972 when it was operated by Dawson Metal Products Company, and based on the descriptions provided by former employees it is probable that TCE releases occurred at that time. There may also have been additional releases since that time. Available information suggests that TCE may have been in the ground at the facility for as long as 45 years (since 1972).

5. Why did Modine conduct the residential vapor intrusion investigations in the homes? You sampled my neighbor’s house, why didn’t you sample mine?

Modine conducted indoor air sampling in the former Modine manufacturing building pursuant to an agreement with the department.

While investigating the source of the vapors in the building in 2015, high concentrations of TCE vapors were found directly beneath the building foundation, suggesting possible vapor migration to nearby residences. These events led the department to require Modine to implement a systematic soil gas and indoor air sampling and analysis program for residential homes. Modine started with the homes located closest to the former manufacturing building and along connected sewer lines.

Modine’s sampling program worked outward from the initial sampling locations based on the residential indoor air sampling results for the initial set of homes. Expansion of the residential indoor sampling program stopped once homes at the periphery of the program showed either no TCE impacts or, if detected, TCE below levels of health concern.  

6. Will any more homes be added to the vapor intrusion sampling program?

Based on the current information the Department of Natural Resources has as of September 2017, the department has no plans to add any more homes to the sampling program around the 221 Sunset Drive facility at this time. The department does note that a new home was added for sampling due to the recent receipt of the previously distributed access agreement.

Going forward, if the department receives new information that affects our understanding of the site, staff will reevaluate the situation at that time and pursue additional sampling as warranted. Currently, the department has also requested additional soil and groundwater investigation be conducted to evaluate vapor intrusion near the Hulett Lagoon. 

7. Why is the sampling and investigation expanding now, when TCE contamination has been present for quite some time?

Sampling and investigation activities, while recently expanded, have been going on since the early 1990s. During this time, the department oversaw the investigation and cleanup of the former hazardous waste storage areas associated with the former manufacturing building and process wastewater/sludge handling. The current expansion of sampling and investigation is based largely on the issues of vapor intrusion concerns. The science behind vapor intrusion has become better understood in the past five years, and more stringent levels have been developed and implemented for chlorinated solvents like TCE. These new cleanup levels have led to expanded investigations at numerous TCE sites in Missouri and across the country.

8. What is going on at the Mulberry Well?

A detailed, Supplemental Remedial Investigation Addendum of the Mulberry Well has been completed and the report of the investigation is posted on the website. The options that are available to remediate groundwater will be listed in the Supplemental Feasibility Study. Based on the information provided in that report, a final remedy will be determined through the Superfund process, which will include additional public meetings and input. Until the time the most viable option is chosen to remediate the Mulberry Well, it will continue to be treated and discharged to control groundwater flow directions and keep the contaminant plume from spreading.

9. What investigations are ongoing?

As of October 2017, there are ongoing or planned investigations at the 221 Sunset Drive property, Hulett Lagoon, the Mulberry Well, the Dawson Metal Products Camdenton Facility #2 Site, and the Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area Site.

221 Sunset Drive Facility

Previous investigations between 1992 and 2007 by Modine and its consultants at the 221 Sunset Drive Facility focused on soil contamination from former operations at the site. Because of more recent advances in the understanding of vapor migration from the subsurface and the associated health effects, the focus shifted to investigating vapors inside and under the manufacturing building.During investigation of the vapors inside and the soil gas under the 221 Sunset Drive building in 2015, Modine encountered a soil vapor source not previously identified. Due to the high concentrations of TCE in soil vapor under the building and in areas just outside of the building foundation, Modine’s investigation focus turned to nearby residential homes and those investigations are currently ongoing. This includes air sampling for TCE insideand beneaththepotentially affected homes.

In the near future, Modine is planning additional investigations to assess the nature and extent of additional contaminant source areas beneath the 221 Sunset Drive building.

See modinesite for more information on past investigations.

Hulett Lagoon

Hamilton Sundstrand will conduct a vapor intrusion investigation of the Hulett Lagoon and surrounding area. No indoor air sampling is planned at this time; however the department will review the results for potential for intrusion to nearby structures and follow up if needed. In 2003 Hamilton Sundstrand investigated soil and groundwater TCE contamination at the Hulett Lagoon. Vapor migration was not part of that investigation; however, the department has requested it at this time because of recent advances in the understanding of vapor migration. See mulberrywellhulettlagoon for more information on past investigations.

Mulberry Well

The city of Camdenton recently completed groundwater investigations associated with the Mulberry Well. The completed report is available at this link mulberrywellhulettlagoon. Look for the “Supplemental Remedial Investigation (RI) Report Addendum (8/2017).”

The city will use this investigation to assess remedial alternatives and provide a Supplemental Feasibility Study Addendum to the department. That report is scheduled to be completed in late Fall 2017. For more history on previous investigations, see mulberrywellhulettlagoon.

Dawson Metal Products Camdenton Facility #2 Site

Department staff completed preliminary investigations at this site in September 2017 to determine the potential for contamination. During October 2017, the department sampled soil, indoor air and sub-slab vapor at the facility. Private drinking water wells, one public water well and two springs within one mile from the facility were also sampled by the department. Results are pending.

For more information on this site see dawsonmetal.

Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area Site

Previous investigations in 1999 did not reveal the presence of TCE in the sludge or the soil or in nearby wells. Additional citizens have voiced concerns regarding the potential for contamination of private wells near the airport Sludge Disposal Area site that were not sampled during the 1999 investigation. During October 2017, the department conducted sampling of private wells within one-half mile of this site. Results are pending.

The department also recently investigated concerns that Hulett Lagoon sludge was applied on other nearby land. After interviewing several individuals and examining city of Camdenton records, information indicates that the sludge applied at the two private properties came from the city’s wastewater treatment facility on HaHa Tonka Road. See camdentonsludgesite for more information.

Other TCE Disposal Sites

The department continues to receive information from citizens about potential locations where TCE may have been released into the environment. In order to conduct a thorough investigation, detailed, credible information regarding the release, including specifics on location, amount and type of material, timeframe, etc. must be received. The department will update the website when additional information is available.

For more information on each area:


Mulberry Well/Hulett Lagoon:

Dawson Metal:

Camdenton Sludge Disposal:



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