A well at the golf course, which has a long history of questionable environmental practices, has passed a recent groundwater sampling test.
The results of the July 24 test, released last week, found trace levels of metals like lead, benzene and arsenic that were “below laboratory-detection limits.”
A scientist who helped with the test pointed out that well water at this site is not the same as water that comes out of one’s tap.
“This is not a drinking-water well,” said W. Mark Henry, a senior scientist with Atkins North America, the company that performed the test. “It is used for maintenance.”
Concerns were raised about water safety after a Sept. 12 Miami Herald report showed that a gas tank was once buried at the course near this well.
Through various public-records requests, the Herald discovered that diesel fuel was once stored near the well to fuel tractors, according to a 1990 Florida Department of Environmental Regulation report. So much gas was used at the site that additional 55-gallon drums of fuel were stored above ground.
For decades, well-water quality at the site has been an issue with locals.
A golf-course official in 1990 said that the tank near the well dispensed about 3,600 gallons per year, although no inventory record was kept. The official expressed serious concerns after he discovered that the 1,120-gallon diesel tank was buried within the “basic wellfield protection area of the Miami Springs lower wellfield” back in April 1960.
The tank was not registered or monitored and had no secondary containment wall, according to a county report. The gas tank was 20 feet underground — the same level as the water supply, according to a 1991 report by the city of Miami.
These water-test results were released just days after an unexpected environmental bill concerning the golf course raised tensions at a July 25 special meeting.
“There are [environmental regulatory-fee] requirements in excess of $1 million that we just found out about,” City Manager Ron Gorland said at the July 25 meeting.
Gorland told leaders that $1 million would be needed to bring the municipal golf course “up to minimum DERM standards.” However, he has not yet elaborated on how he came up with the $1 million figure to comply with county standards.
The next city council meeting will take place at city hall on Monday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m.