USGS orthophoto of Salina Municipal Airport, formerly Schilling Air Force Base (Credit: USGS, via Wikimedia Commons)
Workers will begin taking soil samples around the closed Schilling Air Force Base in Kansas this April, according to the Associated Press. Officials say pollution in groundwater is threatening the drinking water supply in nearby Salina.
Surveyors plan to use soil probes in ground surrounding the old base to measure gases, which should tell them levels of some pollutants. Various contaminants are suspected to be in the area, including the solvent TCE that was used to clean planes and weapons.
The first environmental assessments of the area began in 1993, with investigators finding 4,000 acres that need to be remediated. The April monitoring will help inform a cleanup plan that must be in place before the city of Salina can apply for federal funding to pay for the work.
Image: USGS orthophoto of Salina Municipal Airport, formerly Schilling Air Force Base (Credit: USGS, via Wikimedia Commons)