Orange County Water District, EPA to launch contaminated groundwater study
The Orange County groundwater basin provides most of the drinking water for 22 cities in the county. The contaminated area is more than a mile wide and several miles long and is believed to contain chemicals like tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1-dichloroethene (1,1-DCE), and 1,4-dioxane. Industrial activities in the area, which have likely contributed to the North Basin contamination, include manufacturing, metals processing and dry cleaning facilities.
The EPA and Orange County Water District will investigate the extent of the contamination and allow the EPA to begin developing a cleanup plan. The study will including installing and sampling 14 groundwater monitoring wells and other data collection. The estimated project cost is approximately $4 million.
“The Orange County groundwater basin is a vital source of drinking water for the 2.4 million people it serves,” EPA acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Alexis Strauss said. “Protecting this resource is critical for our long-term water sustainability.”
Drinking water currently being made available to the public still falls within federal and state drinking water standards.