The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published January 10, 2018

DNR releases results on new TCE testing

CCAMDENTON – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued two updates concerning the status of their TCE investigations on the contaminated site in the city.

DNR explained a brief history of the site and the situation that caused the contamination.

According to DNR:

“Dawson Metal Products originally constructed the former manufacturing facility at 221 Sunset Drive. It was reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that on July 10, 1972, there was a fire at the 221 Sunset Drive facility. Operations temporarily moved to a building located at 1225 US Highway 54 in Camdenton, known at the time as the Cox building. Now the building is referred to as the Dawson Metal Products Camdenton Facility #2 (DMPF #2). The property is currently owned by Dickerson Building, LLC and occupied by Laker Co. During operations at the DMPF #2 site, former employees have reported that waste trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound used in degreasing operations, was disposed of out the back loading dock door onto the ground for approximately one year.”

Also contaminated was Hulett Lagoon. Hulett Lagoon is a former wastewater sewage lagoon operated by the city from 1961 to 1989 and received industrial wastewater containing (TCE), chromium, copper and zinc from the 221 Sunset Drive manufacturing facility.

In 1989, sludge from the closure of Hulett Lagoon was land applied in a field north of Forbes Road at the end of the runway at the Camdenton Memorial Airport.

Based on the TCE contamination documented at the Hulett Lagoon site, there was concern that sludge disposed of near the airport could pose a risk to nearby residents if TCE was released into the groundwater.

Tests by DNR of that site did not find any risk of TCE.

“A combined preliminary assessment/site inspection investigation was completed by the department at the site in 1999. TCE was not detected in samples from the sludge material and surrounding soil. Three nearby private drinking water wells were sampled by the department and no TCE was detected in these wells. Residents also submitted well water samples to private laboratories which detected TCE, but the department was unable to replicate these results after conducting several rounds of sampling at the same area wells,” DNR said.

This brings us to last year when the possibility of other contaminated sites was brought to DNR’s attention. DNR released results last week from investigations into those concerns.

DNR says “In June 2017, after receiving new information from a citizen in Camdenton that Hulett Lagoon sludge material may have been applied on two additional private properties, the department initiated a site reassessment investigation. 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 Ha Ha Tonka Road and not from the Hulett Lagoon.”

But other concerns were brought forth when DNR heard from other citizens who 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.

“The department conducted two site reassessment sampling events in October 2017 that included collection of groundwater samples from public and private wells within one half mile of the Sludge Disposal Area site. Samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including TCE, and site-related metals,” DNR stated in their report.

The department collected samples from 11 private drinking water wells and one public drinking water well, Camden County PWSD2 Backup Well #1, within one-half mile of the site.

In addition, the department collected samples from two additional private wells located several miles away to establish background levels of naturally occurring metals. All samples were collected from outdoor spigots nearest to the wellheads.

Samples were analyzed for VOCs, including TCE, and site associated metals.

“No VOCs were detected in any of the water samples,” DNR stated.

But trace metals were detected in several samples at levels below National Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards, DNR said.

The department collected samples from two private residences (one near the site and one background well further away) that had elevated lead concentrations. DNR collected a follow-up sample from a post-water softener indoor faucet at the home near the site was non-detect for lead.

The department is planning on additional sampling for the second home with a lead detection.

“It is likely that the lead contamination is attributable to natural sources, historic mining activities or deteriorating piping. Given that the lead concentrations encountered during the 1999 Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection sampling of soils at the sludge disposal site lead were not particularly high (lead was detected at levels below those permissible in residential soils), it is unlikely that the elevated lead in the impacted well is attributable to the site,” DNR said in their report.

In November 2017 DNR said “Based on current information, there is no evidence of TCE exposure to DMPF #2 building employees above health based action levels. Additional air sampling will be conducted in January 2018 to verify these conditions.

Detailed information can be found on DNR’s website at

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