Feb 13, 2017

Southern California Pioneers Microbe Perchlorate Treatment

RIALTO -- A defense industry contractor has agreed to pay $700,000 or more annually for the operations and maintenance costs of a perchlorate removal system which uses microbes to break down the harmful chemical.  West Valley Water District made environmental cleanup history late last year by shipping water directly to customers from a $23 million specialized treatment plant at its headquarters.  The agreement with Goodrich Corp. authorizes funding for 100 percent of operations and maintenance costs for up to $700,000 annually for the first year and no cap for subsequent years in the life of the project, West Valley said in a statement.  Negotiations have been going on since 2014.  The talks were the result of a judicial consent decree which requires Goodrich, under the EPA’s oversight, to fund clean-up facilities, said Matthew H. Litchfield, WVWD general manager.  Perchlorate has polluted portions of the Rialto-Colton water basin, the result of past military, industrial and agricultural activities above it ... 
Following the discovery of perchlorate in portions of the Rialto-Colton groundwater basin in 1997, WVWD and the city of Rialto shut down wells in the impacted area.  Following years of testing and review by regulatory agencies, WVWD began, in September 2016, using bio-remediation to remove perchlorate and restore water for potable use.  The plant has the capacity to provide the water needs for about 16,000 of West Valley’s 66,000 customers.  WVWD has begun working on perchlorate destroying plant number two, called a fixed-bed biotreatment plant, which takes a slightly different approach to treatment with the same naturally occurring microbes.  The second plant is expected to deliver water sometime in 2019, Litchfield said.  The operational costs of this second treatment technology will also be paid for by Goodrich, he said.
Jim Steinberg  
San Bernardino County Sun
February 13, 2017
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