Cleanup and testing for water contaminated from a July 19 fire at the Tri-County Stockdale feed and fertilizer operation in Shorewood may continue for two more weeks.
The city of Joliet announced Tuesday that a section of Black Road running past Tri-County Stockdale will remain closed for about two weeks due to mitigation efforts.
An environmental company is using the area to pump out water and has removed 640,000 gallons of “contaminated fluid,” according to an update on the cleanup posted by the village of Shorewood on its website on Monday.
Tri-County Stockdale, a farm and landscaping supplier that sold fertilizer, feed and other materials, was devasted by the fire. Four of the six buildings on the site were destroyed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to monitor air quality in the area, and local authorities said there has been no sign of contamination of Shorewood municipal water system.
“There is no contamination to anybody’s drinking water at this time,” Troy Township Fire Chief Andy Doyle said Tuesday. “And the air quality is being monitored by the EPA, and there have been no issues with air quality.”
Doyle said that an environmental company pumping and testing water in the area is using the closed section of Black Road for storage tanks, which is why the road remains closed.
Tri-County Stockdale is located at 25520 W. Black Road.
The environmental company is pumping water and testing for contamination, trying to avoid runoff of contaminants into the DuPage River, Doyle said. The water must be tested before it can be determined where it is sent for treatment, he said.
“We are pleased to report that our containment operations were successful,” Village Administrator Aaron Klima said in the Monday update posted on the village website.
In his update, Klima said that “pumping operations have removed over 640,000 gallons of contaminated fluid from within the village alone. The large volume of rain over the weekend further diluted the water in our storm sewer system and detention ponds.
“Because of the danger of flooding residential homes along the detention ponds, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency authorized a gradual release of the diluted detention ponds in order to prevent private property damage along the ponds,” Klima said.
Klima said the village has received “repeated requests for additional information,” especially detailed test results.
“Samples have been taken at intervals throughout the week,” he said. “Testing takes an annoyingly long time.”
The village will release test results “as they come into us,” Klima said. “The test results will not only be informative, but they will help our response team make subsequent plans for the rest of the response and return us to normal as soon as possible.”
The EPA continues to conduct air quality tests that “indicate the air is safe,” Klima said.
“The well source and distribution network of our Shorewood municipal water system was not compromised,” Klima said. “We continue to work on containing contaminated areas and extract as much foreign material as possible.”
Klima referred residents to a flyer developed by Illinois Department of Public Health and the Will County Health Department that can be found online at https://willcountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/FAQs-Shorewood-Fire-7.22.2022.pdf.
He invited residents to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.