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WELL TO BE TREATED VESSELS INSTALLED TO PURGE PERCHLORATE FROM THE WATER SUPPLY.

Byline: Eugene Tong Staff Writer

SAUGUS - Two vessels intended to purge the chemical perchlorate from a well that could serve a planned Valencia development have been installed along the Santa Clara River, water officials said Tuesday.

The equipment, erected by the Valencia Water Co. just outside a regional pumping station along Bouquet Canyon and Soledad Canyon roads, would treat the complete flow of water coming out of the alluvial well - roughly 1,300 gallons per minute, said Bob DiPrimio, the utility's president.

``The technology is straightforward,'' he said. ``In terms of the footprint - it doesn't take up much area.''

The shallow well tested positive in April for perchlorate and was removed from service. Perchlorate is a rocket-fuel ingredient that, in high doses, has been connected to thyroid problems. The well was part of the water supply serving The Newhall Land and Farming Company's 2,200-home West Creek development in northern Valencia.

This is the sixth well to be contaminated by chemicals that migrated into local groundwater from the Whittaker-Bermite munitions plant, which closed in 1987. Though a large perchlorate plume has spread into the much-deeper Saugus Aquifer, water officials said they believe this case was likely due to surface seepage from January's rainstorms.

The state recommends no more than 6 parts per billion of perchlorate in drinking water - the well tested at about 10 parts per billion. Whittaker-Bermite's executors agreed to pay $500,000 to treat this well while they negotiate a larger settlement with the Castaic Lake Water Agency to clean up the remaining wells at an estimated cost of $15.3 million.

It will take several days to install the filtering vessels, but they won't be activated for several weeks while the Valencia Water Co. secures the necessary permits from the state Department of Health Services and other regulators.

Once treatment is completed, the vessels are slated to join a larger perchlorate treatment plant the CLWA is planning to build behind its Rio Vista Pumping Station, DiPrimio said.

``We plan to move these units over to the Castaic Lake Water Agency treatment site that they're planning to install next year,'' he said.

Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253

eugene.tong(at)dailynews.com

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Two water filters just outside a regional pumping station along Bouquet Canyon and Soledad Canyon roads, would treat the complete flow of water coming out of the alluvial well - roughly 1,300 gallons per minute.

David Crane/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 17, 2005
Words:406
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