Salina City officials are growing concerned that a large plume of contaminated groundwater could hit Salina wells within the next eight years unless steps are taken soon to divert it.
Such steps might include the city spending its own money to divert the plume, which likely originated from the former Schilling Air Force Base, City Commissioner Donnie Marrs said Monday at a study session.
Marrs said a consultant hired by the city found that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is charged with the cleanup, frequently has been incompetent. He also said the city would know more about how to proceed after a meeting of area leaders Thursday in Junction City.
"We can't wait on the corps," Marrs said.
Officials said the contamination probably was from high concentrations of trichloroethylene, better known as TCE. The solvent, used extensively on military bases, can lead to birth defects and cancer, according to a 2001 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.