An executive summary of a groundwater study of the old Murray Smelter area says water quality in nearby Little Cottonwood Creek most likely won't be affected appreciably by arsenic or lead contaminants from the site for 300 years.
Surface and subsurface soil samples were collected at the 141-acre site and off-site study areas near the smelter between October 1995 and February 1996, the summary provided by the federal Environmental Protection agency stated. Soils at the site showed "elevated concentrations" of lead and arsenic, most likely related to smelter operation and other industrial activity.Current water quality changes in Little Cottonwood Creek appear to be related to slag dumped in the area. Only arsenic levels in the shallow aquifer appear to be above allowable limits, and these contaminants appear to correlate with high levels of arsenic found in the soil.
Arsenic levels were also found in the intermediate aquifer in earlier investigations, but new wells drilled in the same area do not show similar contaminant concentrations.
Deeper aquifers, from which Murray pumps its drinking water, are apparently not in danger of contamination. Results of the study are preliminary and won't be finalized until later in June, the EPA said.