SCV Water will voluntarily remove a number of its groundwater wells from service in the coming months, following the State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water’s decision to lower its response level guidelines for two chemicals found in low concentrations in drinking water across the state.
Under the new guidelines, as many as 18 of the agency’s 44 wells could be impacted.
On February 6, DDW lowered its response levels to 10 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and 40 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), two chemicals in a family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The state’s previous response level set a combined 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS. These response levels are some of the most stringent guidelines in the nation. For perspective, one part per trillion would be equal to four grains of sugar in an Olympic-size swimming pool.
As a result of earlier sampling, SCV Water voluntarily removed one groundwater well from service when it exceeded the prior response level in May 2019. All other wells tested well below that level.
The updated guidelines are part of DDW’s statewide effort to assess the scope of water supply contamination by PFOS and PFOA. In addition to revised response levels, DDW has indicated it will issue a new compliance sampling order in the near future. The revised response level guidelines will be compared to a quarterly running annual average of sample results.
“In August, we proactively sampled all wells in our system, so we have two quarters of data we can factor in now, giving us a head start in addressing the new guideline,” said Matt Stone, general manager of SCV Water.
“We immediately removed one well from service last year when it exceeded the original response level, and we will take similar actions for additional wells that exceed the revised response level in the coming months.”
SCV Water will tackle this challenge through a combination of new operating strategies and proven treatment options. The first PFAS treatment facility has started construction and is expected to be in operation by June of this year, restoring three key wells to service, which represent a significant amount of the affected groundwater. The fast-tracked project is estimated to cost $6 million to build and $600,000 annually to operate.
“Today’s announcement is not about finding more PFAS in our water source, but rather implementing the revised state guideline to further protect public health,” Stone said, “In response to DDW’s announcement today we are taking immediate, proactive steps to ensure we remain in 100% compliance.”
SCV Water is also expediting the design and construction of new groundwater treatment facilities at additional wells impacted by PFAS. In the meantime, SCV Water will rely on its diverse water supply portfolio, including imported and banked water, to minimize supply impacts on customers.
However, with some groundwater wells temporarily offline, it is even more important that customers continue to use water efficiently in their homes and on their landscapes.
“We are committed to clear and timely communication with our customers about all water quality changes and how we plan to address them,” Stone said. “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 for our customers to drink.”
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. Water agencies do not put these chemicals into the water, but over time very small amounts enter the water supplies through manufacturing, wastewater discharge and product use. Exposure to these chemicals may cause adverse health effects.
For more information and resources on PFAS, visit yourSCVwater.com/pfas.
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 73,000 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.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.
You can be the first one to leave a comment.