Knight’s legislation would clean contaminated water

Signal File photo. Castaic Lake in January 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

In an effort to recycle contaminated water in the Santa Clarita Valley, Congressman Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) introduced a bill Tuesday to treat areas contaminated by perchlorate.

Under the House of Representatives Bill 2116, known as the Perchlorate Reclamation and Water Replenishment Act, the Secretary of the Interior would develop projects with local water agencies to capture, treat and distribute recycled water affected by perchlorate.

“While California’s water outlook has improved this year, we still must take steps to ensure we have a clean and abundant water supply in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Knight said in a statement. “This legislation is a local priority that would bring relief to communities.”

Multiple water wells in the Santa Clarita Valley are currently unused because of perchlorate contamination, Knight’s office said.

Perchlorate is the contaminate the California Department of Toxic Substances has spent years cleaning at the old Whittaker-Bermite site.

This bill would assist communities nationwide with the contamination, but would prioritize water districts that have previously taken steps toward solving contamination issues.

Castaic Lake Water Agency General Manager Matt Stone said in a statement that the agency is a proponent of the bill.

“Communities like ours that have been impacted by perchlorate contamination will now have resources to help replenish lost water supply,” Stone said. “We look forward to working with him as this legislation moves through the process.”

Last year, Knight introduced the Castaic Drinking Water Act to authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to participate in perchlorate cleanup.

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