Dry Cleaner Site Restoration Project

The commercial laundry facility Community Linen operated at 1824 and 1826 61st Street in Sacramento, from 1957 to 1981. Chemicals used to operate its business have been found in soil and groundwater at and near the property. SMUD purchased the property in 1981 but only recently discovered the contamination. We’re working voluntarily, under regulatory oversight, to address environmental impacts that we did not contribute to or cause. Remediation activities on the former Community Linen site will begin in 2021. Investigation of areas affected by the release of chemicals at that site are ongoing. 

Site history

Site testing suggests that tetrachlorethylene (PCE), a liquid used for dry cleaning fabrics leaked into the soil at 1826 61st Street; the site of former Community Linen, a commercial laundry business that operated from the late 1950s until the early 1980s.

Because Community Linen is no longer in business, SMUD has taken on full responsibility for the cleanup of contamination we did not contribute to or cause. Please note: There is no risk to the safety of the water supply in the area. The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities supplies the drinking water. It is primarily from surface water supplies and it meets all state and federal drinking water standards.

Project map

Environmental enhancements and management

Once SMUD identified the contamination, we worked to determine the extent of the spread of tetrachlorethylene (PCE) in the soil and groundwater, including testing offsite locations south of Hwy 50 in the Tahoe Park neighborhood. SMUD is working under the supervision of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley Water Board) and is contracting with environmental experts Brown & Caldwell to analyze the results of testing, determine the extent of the contamination and develop a soil and groundwater treatment plan. The Central Valley Water Board is the lead agency overseeing the environmental investigation and remediation activities. The remediation will take place pursuant to an approved Remedial Action Plan (RAP). 

Anticipated activities

  • A final draft of the RAP will be available for public review and comment beginning January 4, 2021.

  • Brown and Caldwell to continue site testing.

  • SMUD, in conjunction with the Central Valley Water Board and Brown and Caldwell, will move forward with site treatment.

  • Continuously monitor, inspect and manage all operations for health and safety concerns.

  • Continue to collaborate with the Central Valley Water Board to ensure compliance with the RAP.

  • Provide ongoing communication with nearby residents and interested stakeholders.

  • Upon approval, SMUD and our consultants, Brown and Caldwell, will implement the RAP.

To learn more about what we’ve completed and next steps, we’re hosting a virtual community meeting to present this information in more detail and answer your questions. 

Virtual Community Meeting 

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021
6 – 7:30 p.m.
To register, email DryCleanerRestoration@smud.org and include “RSVP” in the subject line plus your fi­rst and last name in the body of the email. Once your RSVP is received, a confirmation email will be sent explaining the process. Then, 1-2 days prior to the virtual meeting, a link to participate will be sent to all registered attendees.


Call us at 1-916-732-5252 or email us at DryCleanerRestoration@smud.org with your questions or comments.

Project timeline

FCL timeline


The investigation focuses on the extent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), specifically tetrachlorethylene (PCE), leaked at the site of a former commercial laundry facility called Community Linen during its business operations at 1824 and 1826 61st street (the Site).

Many VOCs are human-made chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals, refrigerants and used in dry cleaning. VOCs evaporate easily in open air. However, when VOCs are in groundwater, the vapors, referred to as soil gas, can move upward through the soil and potentially migrate inside buildings through the foundation. VOCs can, in some cases, accumulate inside buildings and have the potential to negatively impact indoor air quality. This process is called vapor intrusion. VOCs are also known to enter buildings through sewer lines.

PCE is a chemical compound commonly used in laundry dry cleaning and metal degreasing. PCE is among a group of chemicals called chlorinated solvents, which evaporate easily, are highly stable, and non‑flammable at room temperature. Due to its widespread use, very low levels of PCE are common in the air of homes and businesses and in outdoor air in urban areas.

Yes. Your water is provided by the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities, and it meets state and federal water quality standards and comes from a different source than the groundwater contaminated by Community Linen's former practices.

An environmental investigation to determine the extent of VOC contamination in soil gas is ongoing. The investigation focuses on areas impacted by a groundwater plume. A plume is an underground pattern of contaminant concentrations created by the movement of groundwater beneath a contaminant source. The extent of the plume is determined by the groundwater movement which is determined by testing the soil and groundwater.

Since SMUD began testing the soil and groundwater in the area, the state has changed its standards. Levels of chemicals in soil gas which need further investigation dropped from site-specific levels of 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter to 15 micrograms per cubic meter. While the results of our testing shows most of the detections in this area has soil gas concentrations below the state’s standard levels of contamination, there are a few areas that need further investigation.

Soil gas data is used to determine the need to assess the potential for vapor intrusion. Since building foundation conditions vary, it will be important to sample soil gas directly beneath the foundations of a small number of homes, and possibly indoor air, to evaluate the potential for vapor intrusion.

SMUD will request access to take samples from several residential properties. After the data is collected, a comprehensive evaluation of the results will be conducted and included in a Risk Assessment Report.

A focused investigation into the presence of VOCs in sewers potentially affected by the Site is in progress. VOCs in sewers have the potential to enter structures through pipes and negatively impact the quality of indoor air and soil. Results of the sewer gas investigation are provided in a Additional Offsite Soil Gas Investigation Results Report.

The  draft  RAP  and  other  Site documents for the Former Community Linen Site can be found at geotracker.waterboards.ca.gov. The RAP is available for public review and comment until 2/17/21.

Test samples have been collected from many sources, including groundwater, soil, soil gas and sewer gas. These sources provide data that determines the extent of VOC contamination and potential need to assess buildings for vapor intrusion.

SMUD has submitted the Additional Off-site Soil Gas Investigation Report to the Central Valley Water Board. The Board has posted the report on the GeoTracker website and, along with SMUD, will provide a project update at a virtual community meeting on January 27, 2021. SMUD will also submit the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to the Central Valley Water Board by January 2021 to remediate and control the migration of the VOC’s in the highest areas of impact.