Since 2019, the State Water Resources Control Board has been updating their guidelines for local water agencies in detecting and reporting the presence of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water. These compounds are within the PFAS family of chemicals that are used extensively in consumer products such as carpets, clothing, furniture fabric, food packaging, nonstick cookware, and firefighting foams.

As the updated guidelines were announced, the City has been notifying affected customers of the presence of PFOS and PFOA in the drinking water but has not yet had to shut down any of the City’s wells since the levels detected are still within the limits of safe deliverable water. As a result of the State guidelines, like many area Cities and Water agencies, City officials have been working to find solutions to eliminate this chemical in the City’s water supply.

During a presentation to the City Council last month, Public Works Interim Director Terry Rodrigue provided an update on the City’s response to the PFOS and PFOA chemical detection.

Back in July 2020, the City adopted a Water Master Plan that would address
the water quality and treatment needs, including the treatment for PFOS and PFOA chemicals. Later in November 2020, the first major steps were taken when the design contract for a water treatment system was awarded for all of the City’s water treatment facilities. In the coming months, many of the City’s treatment facilities will be undergoing several improvements, including electrical upgrades, in order to accommodate the necessary equipment needed to filter out PFOS and PFOA chemicals from the drinking water supply.

Having already begun at several of the City’s treatment facilities, the Groundwater Treatment Project’s anticipated completion and full implementation is expected in Fall of 2022. This past September, the City received funding from Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez that will be used toward the design, and construction of Phase 1 of the Groundwater Treatment Project to eliminate the PFAS family of chemicals from the City’s water supply. While the project progresses, the City will continue to actively seek funding through grants and other funding sources to help offset the costs for this project.

For questions or more information, call our Public Works Department at 562.801.4415.

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