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

City of Lima, Ohio, enters CWA settlement to reduce critical sewage overflows

To resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into the Ottawa River during wet weather, the city of Lima, Ohio, has entered into a Clean Water Act settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice and State of Ohio.

AWWA to Congress: Nutrient pollution reduction key to preventing cyanotoxins

In a testimony recently held before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, American Water Works Association President John Donahue stressed that the solution to keeping drinking water safe from cyanotoxins begins with reducing nutrient pollution.

Reclamation invests $9.2M in water, power research in West amid drought

Following a year of record drought, water managers throughout the West are searching for information and ideas to ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply. To meet this growing need, the Bureau of Reclamation has officially awarded $9.2 million for 131 research projects.

City of Philadelphia names first 'Stormwater Pioneer'

The Philadelphia Water Department has named Stanley's True Value Hardware as the city's first Stormwater Pioneer. The store's third-generation owners were recognized as role models for small business owners and private developers looking to reduce stormwater runoff.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA