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1879 - First official Newhall School building erected near Walnut & Ninth streets [story]
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| Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020
pfas chemicals
Artist rendering of proposed water filtration vessels (center) and the chloramine disinfection facility (left) inside a fenced area south of the William S. Hart Baseball/Softball League parking lot (bottom). Baseball field is seen far right. Art courtesy SCV Water Agency.

 

SCV Water’s November 2019 quarterly well sampling of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) found one well in excess of the state’s nonregulatory notification levels for PFAS chemicals, the agency reported Wednesday.

This well is in addition to 28 wells identified during the previous rounds of sampling in May and August 2019.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade chemicals that are prevalent in the environment and were commonly used in industrial and consumer products to repel grease, moisture, oil, water and stains.

These chemicals enter the environment through treated wastewater discharge, landfills and areas where the substances were used outdoors. Exposure to these chemicals may cause adverse health effects.

“Like many communities across the nation, small amounts of PFAS have shown up in some of our water supply. We have a treatment facility that will be online by summer, and we will continue to seek the best strategies to attack this issue,” said SCV Water General Manager Matt Stone.

“Our customers are our top priority, and we are committed to rigorously testing our water thousands of times per year to ensure it meets or surpasses all water-quality standards and is safe to drink for our customers,” Stone said.

In August 2019, the State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water (DDW) updated state guidelines and lowered the notification levels by more than half, to 6.5 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS and 5.1 ppt for PFOA, making them some of the most stringent guidelines in the nation.

pfas chemicals

For perspective, one part per trillion is a microscopic measurement for something in the water and would be equal to four grains of sugar in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Notification levels are a nonregulatory, precautionary reporting level for concentrations in drinking water that warrant notification and further monitoring and assessment.

When water registers above the notification level, it is reported to the DDW, as well as the SCV Water governing board, the Santa Clarita City Council, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors within 30 days of official results from the testing laboratory.

Results were presented to the SCV Water Board on Jan. 7, 2020. Customers are notified through SCV Water’s annual Consumer Confidence (Water Quality) Report as well as the Agency’s website and e-newsletter.

Additionally, all 73,000 of SCV Water’s customer accounts will receive a direct mail postcard this month with information about PFAS.

“We are committed to transparently communicating all water quality changes and how we plan to address them with our customers,” said Stone.

SCV Water continues to monitor its groundwater supplies through proactive quarterly sampling and will rely on its diverse water supply portfolio, including imported and banked water sources, in order to minimize any supply impacts to its customers.

Additionally, SCV Water encourages customers to continue to use water efficiently in their homes and on their landscapes.

SCV Water is developing a plan to address the issue. Construction begins this February on a $5 million water treatment facility for three agency wells next to the William S. Hart Baseball/Softball League ball fields. This project will provide treatment for a substantial portion of groundwater impacted by PFAS chemicals. It will treat up to 6250 gallons of water per minute – enough to serve more than 5,000 families for a year.

SCV Water is one of more than 200 water systems in California required to sample for PFOS and PFOA chemicals this year.

For more information and resources on PFAS, visit yourSCVwater.com/pfas.

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1 Comment

  1. jim says:

    Well, well, well…

    Yeah I just couldn’t resist that. So, we have nasty chemicals in our water, chemicals that we didn’t know were nasty until a few months ago (publicly) and really don’t yet know what to do with them. If they take them out of the water where the PFAs have been detected, where do they put them?

    And since the latest information I’ve seen says that PFAs are some of the nastiest and longest lasting pollutants in well water, how much more are we going to find in the near/far future?

    A couple of filtration systems aren’t going to fix an ongoing problem (see all of the previous water well problems here in SClarita) in a short time.

    There are long known water issue in the West, and California is as West as it gets, unless you can swim a long way to Hawaii.

    It’s been said that Whiskey is for drinking and Water is for fighting in California.

    This ain’t going away my friends, not in our lifetimes anyway. Maybe that should be considered when thousands of homes are planned for the currently undeveloped portions of this valley.

    Sure. You bet. We’ll get right on it.

    I’m talkin’ to you SCVWater. AKA Castaic Lake Water District. Santa Clarita Water, Newhall Water, Valencia Water, etc.

    The County Water District can just go whine to the Supes.

    So, when do we get our Whiskey?

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