Meeting last week, the board of directors for the Fountain Valley-based Orange County Water District approved the first phase of a project to minimize the spread of chlorinated hydrocarbons seeping into the ground-water basin in Fullerton and Anaheim.
The hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, have been released into the ground water over the past 30 years from industrial areas in Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia.
The board approved $2.18 million for the first phase of the project, which includes the construction of two extraction wells and carbon treatment systems, each capable of extracting and treating 600 gallons per minute. Two injection wells also will be constructed to return the purified water to the ground-water basin.
The contaminated water is mostly in a shallow basin about 200 feet below the surface. Drinking water wells generally tap deeper pools, but the contamination has already forced the closure of one well. Two other wells, 300 to 400 feet down, have shown trace amounts of chlorinated hydrocarbons but still meet the minimum acceptable standards for drinkable water.
The project could ultimately be expanded for a total of six extraction wells and six treatment systems, which would cost approximately $5 million plus an additional $500,000 in annual operating costs.