News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA begins construction of groundwater treatment system in Puente Valley
LOS ANGELES — In a ceremony in the City of Industry with the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the start of construction of a groundwater treatment system in Puente Valley as part of ongoing cleanup at the San Gabriel Valley Superfund Site. The new $40 million treatment system, expected to be completed by 2020, will capture and remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 1,4 dioxane, perchlorate, and hexavalent chromium from groundwater.
“Today we celebrate a big milestone at this site,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Superfund Assistant Director Dana Barton. “The construction of this new advanced treatment facility will protect the existing groundwater supply and provide a reliable source of potable water for residents and businesses.”
Under EPA oversight, the Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation will install two miles of underground pipeline and construct a groundwater treatment facility. Once completed, the facility will extract contaminated water from underground and send it to the treatment plant. The new facility will treat over two million gallons of groundwater a day and meet state and federal drinking water standards.
“This new facility in the City of Industry is a milestone for the San Gabriel Basin and the Water Quality Authority,” said San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority Board Chairman Jorge Marquez. “It represents the 32nd water treatment facility built in the San Gabriel Valley and it is the first to use reverse osmosis in the treatment process.”
Once construction on the new treatment system is complete, EPA will oversee testing of the water before the California Division of Drinking Water issues a permit to La Puente Valley County Water District to operate the treatment facility and distribute the water to local users.
In 1984, EPA established the Puente Valley Operable Unit (PVOU) as part of the San Gabriel Valley Superfund Sites after groundwater monitoring revealed significant volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination in groundwater within the southeastern portion of the San Gabriel Valley. Groundwater contamination is the result of decades of improper handling and disposal practices by individual facilities that released industrial solvents into the soil and groundwater.
A cleanup plan was prepared in 1998 and updated in 2005 to address an approximately 5-square mile wide plume of contaminated groundwater that extends beneath the City of Industry, City of La Puente, and portions of unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The cleanup plan calls for three separate groundwater cleanup systems in the PVOU to remove and treat contaminants from different groundwater areas. Each system will consist of its own groundwater extraction wells, pipelines, and treatment plant. The other two groundwater systems will address shallow groundwater and are expected to start construction by 2020.
For more information on the Puente Valley Operable Unit, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/sangabrielpuentevalley.