Pilot Action 4 Updates: Parma

The first information about the groundwater pollution in the Parma pilot site (presence of hydrocarbons, Methyl tert-butyl ether, BTEX) was collected in 2002 during a reclamation procedure; at the end of this procedure, the chemical analyses showed PCE concentrations in groundwater higher than the law limits, even in piezometers upstream the site.

CHC contamination is becoming a diffused problem in Nothern Italy. In the pilot site of Parma (P.le Santa Croce), the contamination is detected only in the shallow aquifer. This is not used for water supply purposes: therefore, now, the CHC contamination is not a pressing problem; but we can not exclude the risk of a percolation to the deeper, productive groundwater aquifer.

AMIIGA gave to Municipality of Parma and to all local Environmental Authorities, the possibility to study and monitor the evolution of the existing pollution. In fact, we have drilled six new wells in the city center (the 7th is forthcoming) and we’ve planned 7 sampling campaigns (three campaigns already carried out).

The results of the performed campaigns (analytes: Nitrate, Nitrite, Trichloromethane, Vinyl Chloride, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, TCE, PCE, 1,2-Dichloroethylene, Ethylene, in addition BMT and CSIA analyses) have suggested to investigate also: 2,2,2-trichloro-1,1ethanediol, triclhoroacetat.

The focus of the Parma pilot site is to study the chance of the Natural Attenuation (NA) as reclamation technology. Finding the public budget to characterize – and to remediate - a huge area is clearly one of the most important and significant issues. The evaluation of the applicability of NA is a very important goal.

Even though we are only halfway in the project, we obtained significant results:

  1. The evidence of a new, different plume of CHC contamination (probably due to a different source): PCE = 21,28 micro g/l found the 22nd of Februay 2018 in the piezometer in the kindergarten “Arlecchino”, north west from P.le s. Croce.
  2. The contamination doesn't seem to go beyond the borders of the Municipality of Parma: nor downstream nor upstream; probably, the plumes (the hotspots?) are not far from the pilot site.
  3. If the contamination is in the town only, we have to change our concept and dimension of FUA: we should discuss about the opportunity to include once again other municipalities.
  4. Having the awareness to work together with the Regione Emilia Romagna: in our region, CHC contamination is a problem that is becoming more common and widespread day by day.