DEP tests Dunbar sludge dump

Posted at 6:51 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 08:00:07-04

FORT MYERS, Fla., - State environmental workers are testing soil in Dunbar to address growing concerns about arsenic contamination in the community from a decades-old dump site.

Residents who live in the heart of the Fort Myers Dunbar community were given a chance to voice their concerns at a public meeting earlier this month.  Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Protection began testing the soil to determine if it's safe using ground penetrating radar technology.

"It's definitely something that should be done," said Jon Iglehart, South District Director of Florida DEP. "If we see abnormalities in that, we know there may be something else that we should sample for or test for," Iglehart added.

In the 1960's, the area between Henderson and Midway Avenues in Fort Myers served as a dumping ground for a water treatment plant before homes were built there.

Decades later, above normal levels of arsenic were discovered in the soil.

"The city is moving forward with plans to remove it all and place it somewhere and this should help with that assessment," said Iglehart.

The results of the testing is expected to take several weeks to complete. At that point, the City is expected to release the results to the public and discuss what steps need to be taken to treat the soil.