Sidney is located in Cheyenne County in western Nebraska, approximately 50 miles east of the Wyoming border and 8 miles north of the Colorado border. There is an area of groundwater contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) located primarily east of the Sidney city limits.
The city of Sidney, 1-3 miles west of the contaminant plume, utilizes groundwater for their public drinking water system. The population of Sidney (US Census data based on the 2010 census) is 6,115; the population of Cheyenne County is 8,910. There are no confirmed sources of the PCE contamination
In 2002, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, now known as the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), submitted a Request for Federal Action to the EPA to conduct a removal assessment and, if necessary, a removal action to address the groundwater contamination. EPA found that wells supporting 17 residences contained PCE above the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), and those residences have had whole house water filtration systems installed by EPA.
In 2020-21, EPA performed testing at these residences to assess current contamination levels and evaluate the efficacy of installed filtration systems. 16 of the original 17 residences plus one new build were sampled. Many of the filtration systems were no longer operable, but of the 16 residences tested only 4 were found to be above the MCL. These residences were provided with filtration systems and/or replacement filters.
In the future, EPA will attempt to sample the remaining unsampled home.