New Mexico seeks to move on groundwater cleanup

Sponsored by

By RENE ROMO

LAS CRUCES, NM, Nov 14, 2000 (Albuquerque Journal)— The state Environment Department is asking city and Doña Ana County officials to sign onto a request for federal funds to investigate and clean up ground water contamination near the city's downtown.

As a precaution, city water officials took Well No. 18, designed to produce about 630 gallons a minute, out of service in September 1996 after high levels of a chlorinated solvent were found in samples.

The contamination and its spread have been assessed over the past three years by about 10 monitoring wells, said George Schuman, manager of the NMED Superfund Oversight Section.

But the state has not yet undertaken an investigation to determine the source of the contamination or to clean up the ground water and halt the spread of additional contamination, Schuman said.

Cleaning up the contamination, which extends from Griggs Avenue north past Hadley Avenue and from Interstate 25 west past Solano Drive, would "probably" cost between $10 million and $15 million, Schuman said.

State officials want to add the site to the Superfund National Priorities List, which would make it eligible for Superfund money to help pay for the cleanup.

State Environment Department officials were scheduled to discuss the project with the Do

Schuman stressed that residents are not in any danger of drinking contaminated water and said the city water system is in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and with state Water Supply Regulations.

"But ground water is a precious resource in this state, and we certainly want to protect the other wells in the area," Schuman said.

The ground water is contaminated with perchloroethylene (PCE), a chlorinated solvent commonly used for dry cleaning fabrics and removing grease from metal, according to the Environment Department.

The federal maximum contaminant level for drinking-water supplies is 5 micrograms of PCE per liter. A water sample from Well No. 18 in January 1995 while the well was off-line showed levels of perchloroethylene at 32 micrograms per liter.

Follow-up samples from Well No. 18 showed PCE levels at less than 2 micrograms per liter, but as a precaution the well was shut off from service, said Gilbert Morales, director of Las Cruces' water resources.

© 1997 - 2000 Albuquerque Journal

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

CSSD expands performance standard to address treatment of shale wastewater

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development announced that it has expanded its wastewater Performance Standard 1 to address the treatment of shale wastewater at permitted facilities.

Water Council announces Round III of The Brew accelerator program

The BREW, a first-of-its-kind place-based global seed accelerator for water technology startups led by The Water Council, has announced that it is launching Round III of the program.  

Siemens to supply turbines for MI combined-cycled power plant project

Siemens has announced that it is supplying two gas turbines and one steam turbine for the Holland Energy Park combined-cycle power plant, to be constructed in the city of Holland, Mich.

CA city deploys smart water software for improved decision support, capital planning

In an effort to prioritize main replacement, coordinate outage response, pinpoint capacity deficiencies, and identify optimal flushing locations in the city of Santa Ana, Calif., the Santa Ana Public Works Agency is adopting Sedaru smart water enterprise software from IDModeling, Inc.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA