Well Q2 was removed from service after quarterly perchlorate sampling conducted on May 8, 2019, returned a result of 0.006 mg/L – which is the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), where treatment becomes necessary or a supply needs to be removed from service. Q2 is located near the Lowe’s shopping center on the west side of Bouquet Canyon, just north of the Santa Clara River.
Well Q2 was immediately removed from service upon notification from the SCV Water lab. SCV Water contacted the State Water Resource Control Board – Division of Drinking Water (DDW), its primary regulators, to inform them of the results. Confirmation samples were collected on May 15, 2019 for analysis by both Eurofins (an independent lab) and SCV Water lab. The results of these samples confirmed the May 8 perchlorate result of 0.006 mg/L.
SCV Water will leave the well offline and continue sampling to track the contaminant levels while investigating potential treatment as warranted.
Previous Perchlorate at Well Q2
Perchlorate was initially detected at Well Q2 in April 2005. Treatment was installed on-site, and weekly samples were collected when the treatment system was put online in October 2005. Perchlorate was no longer detected and treatment was removed from the well in October 2007. Since then, Well Q2 has been continuously monitored and has not seen any perchlorate detections until May 8, 2019.
History of Perchlorate in the SCV
Since first detected in groundwater wells in the Santa Clarita Valley in 1997, the predecessors to the new SCV Water (formerly Newhall County Water District, Santa Clarita Water Division, Valencia Water Company and Castaic Lake Water Agency) have worked diligently with state environmental and health regulators to address the perchlorate problem. This includes seeking reimbursement for groundwater cleanup and replacement water supply costs from responsible parties, the Whittaker Corporation and its insurers.
The state-of-the-art Saugus Perchlorate Treatment Facility (SPTF) employs a single-pass ion exchange process. It is the result of extensive technical investigations, identifying best- practice control strategies, as well as the most effective and least costly treatment processes. The SPTF is located near the Lowe’s off Bouquet Canyon Road. It began delivering treated groundwater in January 2011. As of December 31, 2017, the facility has removed, treated and returned over 7 billion gallons (over 22,000 acre-feet) of groundwater for beneficial use.
SCV Water has vigorously pursued treatment, as well as payment from Whittaker-Bermite. Perchlorate was used as a solid fuel component in the manufacture of munitions, fireworks, flares, and other explosives at the Whittaker-Bermite site located south of Soledad Canyon Parkway and east of San Fernando Road (Railroad Avenue) for approximately forty years. Improperly disposed waste leaked into the groundwater and contaminated the wells. In addition to groundwater remediation efforts, there is a cleanup effort underway on the Whittaker-Bermite property under the jurisdiction of the State Division of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
Once used as a medication to treat overactive thyroid glands, perchlorate can impair the function of normal and underactive thyroids. It has also been linked to problems with fetal development in pregnant woman.
For more information, visit the Whittaker-Bermite Information website, maintained by the City of Santa Clarita: www.whittakerbermite.com.
About SCV Water:
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) is a full-service regional water agency located in the Santa Clarita Valley. SCV Water provides water service to approximately 72,000 business and residential customers. It was formed on January 1, 2018 when local water suppliers combined into one integrated, regional water provider. More information can be found at www.yourSCVwater.com.