Why should I care about a wellfield?
For many years we believed that our groundwater was protected from contamination by being underground. We now know that substances on the surface can seep down and contaminate our drinking water supply. As Central Indiana grows the only source of additional water will be the groundwater resources.
How does this affect me in the medical/laboratory business?
- Changes to Indianapolis zoning codes and Marion County health ordinances will likely affect your business operations by mandating certain Best Management Practices (BMPs) that were previously voluntary.
- If you are careful to contain your contaminants, you will avoid polluting your site, or environs and avoid a potentially expensive clean-up down the road.
- Being a good neighbor in your wellfield is good for your business – it will be appreciated by your customers.
What are potential contaminants?
Any chemical used as part of your operations could contaminate groundwater if handled, stored, or disposed of in an incorrect manner. Potential contaminants are generally chemicals used for imaging (if not digital), cleaning and disinfection agents, medical and hazardous waste, and the specific chemicals need for the processes conducted at your facility. At facilities with backup generators, transformers and fuel storage can be another potential contaminant.
What can I do at my facility to help protect groundwater?
- Switch to imaging techniques that are entirely digital to remove the need for photo processing and the associated chemicals and waste.
- If your lab uses a xylene still for solvent reclamation, install secondary containment in the processing area and waste storage area.
- Close and seal floor drains near chemical or waste storage areas.
- Use an appropriate floor sealant in areas in which chemicals or waste are stored.
- Train staff on appropriate spill cleaning and have spill kits available in areas when chemicals or waste may spill.
- Use secondary containment in areas where chemicals or waste are stored. In areas where chemicals such as cleaners are stored, you may place chemical containers within a plastic tote.
- Properly dispose of used chemicals or waste, which should never be poured onto the ground. You may use the Indianapolis ToxDrop program or a hazardous waste disposal company.
- Ensure all personnel are trained in the proper use and disposal of the chemicals they use.
Education and Training
There are many resources and face-to-face help to assist you in being compliant. Here’s what you can do: