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EPA in Iowa

Former Chamberlain Manufacturing Facility, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa - Fact Sheet, September 2017

EPA Directs Chamberlain to Commence Groundwater Cleanup


Representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will host a Public Meeting, which will be held:

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017
Start Time: 6 p.m.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
207 W. Louise St.
Waterloo, IA 50703

EPA will provide an update on the cleanup progress at the former Chamberlain Manufacturing Facility, located at 550 Esther Street in Waterloo, Iowa.

Over the past decade, EPA has overseen environmental investigations and response actions at the former Chamberlain Manufacturing Facility.

EPA recently directed the Chamberlain Manufacturing Company to perform additional work at the site. EPA approved a work plan and design to clean up subsurface soil and groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The cleanup will involve the mixing of treatment amendments into the soil and groundwater, in order to reduce VOC levels. EPA expects that contractor representatives for Chamberlain will perform the work under EPA oversight.


The former Chamberlain Manufacturing Facility manufactured metal washer wringers, projectile metal parts, aluminum awnings, and refrigerator shelves, among other items, at the 22.8-acre site. The former owner ceased operations at the facility in the 1990s.

The city of Waterloo obtained Brownfields Cleanup Grant funding and utilized it for the sampling and removal of asbestos from a group of dilapidated buildings prior to their demolition.

The city and Chamberlain have conducted sampling of the groundwater beneath the facility and its surrounding neighborhood. Those sampling results indicated that trichloroethene (TCE), chloroform, tetrachloroethene, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, and vinyl chloride are present in groundwater at levels that exceeded health-based screening levels for drinking water. These VOCs were used in manufacturing processes at the facility, and are suspected to have entered groundwater through spills.

EPA and Chamberlain have assessed the potential for VOCs to move from groundwater into indoor air through soils and home foundations near the facility property. Findings of the assessments showed that the vapors of site-related VOCs had migrated into the indoor air of some of the homes. Due to potential adverse health effects from exposure, Chamberlain representatives installed vapor intrusion mitigation systems in homes where VOC vapors in indoor air exceeded health-based screening levels.


The public is encouraged to review EPA’s investigation reports and other historical information regarding the facility. This information is available at the following locations during normal business hours:

City of Waterloo
Community Planning and Development
715 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, IA 50703
Phone: 319-291-4366

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Road
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7108


If you have questions about the site or this Fact Sheet, please contact:

Althea Moses
Community Engagement Specialist
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Road
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425