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Environmental Health Division
Water Gremlin Site
In January 2019, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) discovered that the Water Gremlin Company, located at 4400 Otter Lake Road in White Bear Township, had been emitting significantly more trichloroethylene (TCE) into the air than allowed by their MPCA air permit. As a result, some people living and working nearby were exposed to TCE concentrations in the air above the MDH health-based value for TCE. TCE use at the Water Gremlin facility stopped in January 2019. Current information about site activities can be found on the MPCA website at Water Gremlin.
MDH’s role is to evaluate public health risks at sites or facilities where chemicals have been released into the environment and to help answer community questions about environmental contaminants and health.
Public Health Assessment – August 23, 2022
The Water Gremlin Public Health Assessment (PHA) reviews all available environmental data and any potential routes of exposure related to contamination from Water Gremlin operations. The PHA provides a written summary and evaluation of findings and a list of conclusions which support a public health action plan.
The public comment period was held between April 26, 2022 and June 9, 2022. MDH responses to comments are in Appendix H, and changes were made to the PHA as indicated in the responses.
Water Gremlin Public Health Assessment
- Water Gremlin Public Health Assessment, August 2022 (PDF)
- Water Gremlin Public Health Assessment, August 2022 – Summary (PDF)
Information for Water Gremlin Workers
- Public Health Assessment Summary: Information for Water Gremlin Workers (PDF)
सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्यआकलि साराांश: Water Gremlin (र्ाटर ग्रेमलीि) कनमवय ांके नलए जािकारी (PDF)
Qhia Kev Kuaj Tag Txog Kev Noj Qab Hauv Huv Rau Pej Xeem Thuaj Pais: Ntaub ntawv qhia rau Cov Neeg Ua Hauj Lwm hauv Water Gremlin (PDF)
ကမ ျၢၢ်အတ ျၢၢ်အ ျၢၢ်ဆ ျၢၢ်အ ျၢၢ်ခ ျ့အတ ျၢၢ်သမံသမ ိးအတ ျၢၢ်က ိးဖ ျၢၢ်တ ဂ ျၢၢ် တ ျၢၢ် က ျၢၢ် ျိၤလ Water Gremlin အပ ျိၤမျိၤတ ျၢၢ်ဖ တဖ ျၢၢ်အဂ ျ (PDF)
Cuunfaa Gamaggama Fayyaa Uummataa: Odeeffannoo Hojjetoota Water Gremlin (PDF)
Soo koobidda Qiimaynta Caafimaadka Dadweynaha: Macluumaad loogu talagalay Shaqaalaha Water Gremlin (PDF)
Resumen de evaluación de salud pública: Información para los trabajadores de Water Gremlin (PDF)
Gem Lake Private Well Testing
- Sampling and analysis of private well water continues in the Gem Lake area. A map providing the current status of 1,4-dioxane well sampling results is located on the MPCA webpage: Protecting Gem Lake residents from contaminated drinking water.
- Residents with well water exceeding Health Risk Limits for 1,4-dioxane are contacted promptly, and all will receive their well sampling results in the mail.
- Many wells were also sampled for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). No VOCs were found in any of the well samples.
- The source of the 1,4-dioxane contamination is still unknown at this time. Additional groundwater investigation is being planned to help identify the source.
2019-2021 MDH Water Gremlin Documents
In 2019, MDH created the Water Gremlin Health Assessment Series to provide ongoing information to the community. The document list below is provided here to be transparent about information previously posted.
Much of the content in the documents below is included or updated in the Public Heath Assessment. For the most current information, please see the Public Health Assessment.
|March 2019||Drinking Water (PDF)|
|March 2019||Cancer Occurrence: White Bear Township, White Bear Lake and Gem Lake Area Five Census Tracts, 2007- 2016 (PDF)|
|April 2019||Update - Private Well Sampling (PDF)|
|April 2019||trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene Air Guidance (replaced in May 2020)|
|April 2019||Public Health Data Summary (PDF)|
|Sept 2019||Trichloroethylene (TCE) Air Emissions and Health (PDF)|
|Oct 2019||Soil Vapor and Health (PDF)|
|Jan 2020||2009-2018 TCE in Air Maps (PDF)|
|March 2020||Private Well Testing For 1,4-Dioxane (PDF)|
|May 2020||trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene (t-DCE) in Air (PDF)|
|May 2020||trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene in Air and Health (PDF)|
|May 2020||1,4-Dioxane and Drinking Water Update (PDF)|
|Sept 2020||1,4-Dioxane Private Well Update (PDF)|
|Aug 2021||2021 1,4-Dioxane Private Well Testing Update - Gem Lake and the White Bear Area (PDF)|
|Aug 2021||1,4-Dioxane in Private Well - Gem Lake and the White Bear Area (PDF)|