GOUDERAK – Under a part of the village of Gouderak (Krimpenerwaard) an unknown amount of agricultural poison and oil has been discovered. It concerns the homes under the Zellingwijk. The plan is to remediate the soil next year.

There has been consultation between the Province and the Public Health Inspectorate today. It has also been agreed that combating the pollution will be high on the list for the soil remediation programme.

The pollution does not come as a complete surprise. When the pollution of Lekkerkerk-West came to light, the municipality was informed that rubbish deposits had taken place in the municipality. The first measurements were taken four months ago and the contamination was discovered.

Acting mayor De Zeeuw of Gouderak says that the houses have not yet suffered from the pollution. “The water pipes are not affected and the drinking water is good”, says De Zeeuw to the Telegraaf. In Lekkerkerk, the water pipe was damaged from the outside.

Yet the mayor does not rule out the possibility that poison and oil may have flowed into the Hollandsche IJssel through the dike. The municipality has set up a committee of residents with whom contact is maintained.

The Zellingwijk is built in a former floodplain, where large-scale dumping took place in the 1950s and 1960s, including by Shell. Ships have dumped full loads in the area, also in the night hours. In the 1960s, about a hundred terraced houses were eventually built.

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Hoe ging het verder?

Where initially it was assumed a remediation in 1982, In the end, it took years before things got moving. In the Dagvantoen podcast, former residents committee chairman Ger Bouter explains why. "Money. An interim soil remediation law had been passed. It stated that the municipality concerned also had to bear a few percent of the costs. The council didn't want that."

In 1982 it turns out that the amount of poison was a lot larger than in, for example, Lekkerkerk. Digging the poison (under the houses, like in Lekkerkerk) is not possible, because the poison is up to six meters underground.

The residents are told to leave and a haunted neighborhood is created. The houses are being demolished and 1985 there is nothing left of the Zellingwijk. “But after that nothing happened for years”, Bouter announced in the Dagvantoen podcast.

Pas in 2007 there is a shot in the case. The ground is being sanitized (and then again, because the new soil also turned out to be polluted) and then the new homes are built. In 2012 the first homes are being taken into use. Of the approximately one hundred families from the Zelling district, six return to their old district.


Het Vrije Volk – 18-11-1981 – Poison discovered under houses in Gouderak

Author: Dave Datema

published: 16-11-2021

story number: 164

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