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Community Relations Sites Wilson Avenue School (Newark City, Essex)


Wilson Avenue School

Newark City, Essex County
PI #: 014263

Fact Sheet
August 2010
Posted 18 August 2010


This summer the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) completed investigation and cleanup activities at the Wilson Avenue School to address odors and vapor issues coming from water flooding into the school. Investigations revealed the ground water beneath an area of the school was contaminated with gasoline from an unknown source. NJDEP installed a new sump pump system to prevent such flooding from occurring in the future. The sump pumps have vapor extraction systems included to prevent vapors from the contaminated ground water from entering the building. Testing conducted after this system was installed and operating showed that all levels of contaminants are below NJDEP action levels throughout the entire school.

Wilson School Cleanup Activities

NJDEP’s contractor, Handex, conducted all remediation work at the school with NJDEP oversight. The work included:

  • Upgrade of the existing sump pumps in the school (clean out of sumps,
    increase horsepower, install new pumps).
  • Installation of a sub-slab ventilation system around each pump.
  • Collection of indoor air samples after the system was operating to
    determine the effectiveness of venting the sumps.
  • Additional sampling and routine maintenance activities to ensure the
    vacuum around the sumps is being maintained.

Unknown Source Investigation

Sampling of ground water surrounding the school was conducted by NJDEP.

  • Approximately 60 ground water samples were taken from 30 locations around the school.
  • A small area of ground water contamination was confirmed.
  • No source of the ground water contamination was found.

Vapor Intrusion Investigation

  • NJDEP conducted sampling at 11 properties surrounding the Wilson Avenue
    School representing where vapor intrusion could be occuring.
  • Potential vapor intrusion was found to be of concern at one property adjacent to the school. Follow-up actions are being conducted by NJDEP.

Next Steps

A ground water treatment system is being installed around the school building to reduce the existing contamination over time. Ground water will be extracted, treated, then discharged to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.

NJDEP will conduct another round of indoor air sampling in the winter at the school to confirm that the levels do remain below action levels.

NJDEP and their contractor will maintain the vapor intrusion system and ground water treatment system.

Any concerns or questions about the investigation may be directed to Mindy Mumford of the NJDEP at (800) 253-5647 or (609) 777-1976.

Information will also be made available at:

  • The Newark Public Library
    Van Buren Branch
    140 Van Buren Street
    Newark, NJ 07105

In case of emergency call 911 or the DEP hotline at 800-WARN DEP (800-927-6337).


Public Meeting Invitation

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 & Thursday August 26, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Wilson Avenue School Gymnasium
Newark, New Jersey

The Wilson Avenue School is prepared to open for the 2010/2011 school year. The NJDEP and the Department of Health will conduct two meetings with the community to present the results of their investigation efforts conducted in and around the school. Attendance at both meetings is not necessary, as the same information will be presented at both meetings.

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