Santa Clarita Water Officials To Build Perchlorate Treatment Facility -- Mon, 09/22/2014 - 2:53pm

Santa Clarita water retailers are building a new treatment facility to deal with perchlorate contamination in the local groundwater supply, officials said.

"We're working on a treatment facility for the V-201 well that was impacted by perchlorate, they will install a wellhead treatment," said Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency.

The plan is to make Saugus 1, Saugus 2 and V-201 wells usable again, Masnada said.

The treatment facility will be located between the Santa Clara River and Lowe's, near Bouquet Canyon Road and Valencia Boulevard.

"The cost to remediate the V-201 well is being covered by settlement agreement that we achieved a number of years ago from the current and former property owners (of where the Whittaker-Bermite Corporation used to be located) who are the liable agency," Masnada said.

Officials report that nothing new getting passed through the V-201 well and are hoping that anything that was passed through the Saugus 1 and 2 wells are being caught in V-201.

"We entered into a settlement a long time ago because the Saugus 1 and 2 had perchlorate detected in wells. Removal treatments were installed," said Brian Folsom, manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency Engineering and Operations. "At the time we hadn't seen perchlorate in V-201 but there was some concern that it might eventually get there."

Perchlorates are the salts of ammonium, potassium, magnesium and sodium. Most of the perchlorate manufactured in the United States is ammonium perchlorate, according to SCV History. It's often used as an oxidizer to boost the energy of solid rocket fuel, although it's used in other industries, as well.

The Whittaker-Bermite Corporation operated for nearly 60 years in the Santa Clarita Valley. They made fireworks, ammunition and missiles and the perchlorate that was used in the manufacturing sunk into the ground, ultimately effecting the groundwater.

The Saugus 1 and Saugus 2 wells were shut down in 1997 and the V-201 well was shut down in 2010, Folsom said.

"The V-205 well, which is even farther downstream, could potentially be affected by perchlorate but the contaminant will hopefully never get there," Folsom said.

For now, Santa Clarita water officials are continuing to treat the contaminated wells and monitor the surrounding wells.