SCV Water’s first PFAS water treatment facility now serving residents

SCV Water hosted a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony at a new water treatment facility near Auto Center Drive in Valencia on Oct. 5, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Santa Clarita Valley residents are now receiving water from one of California’s first facilities that restore groundwater affected by a suspected manmade carcinogen, SCV Water Agency officials announced Monday. 

The move comes after the agency received the final permit to serve water from its first water treatment plant that combats per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, from groundwater. 

PFAS are human-made chemicals found in a wide range of products used by consumers and industries, such as carpets, nonstick cookware and paper food packaging, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

“Our goal is putting the health and safety of our customers first and ensuring they receive safe and reliable water,” SCV Water’s General Manager Matt Stone said in a prepared statement. “Early on, we made the forward-thinking decision to add several water treatment facilities to eliminate PFAS in our water supply. We’re pleased that our first facility is complete and ready to deliver a reliable water supply to our community.”  

Officials celebrated the plant’s completion in early October. It is located adjacent to the William S. Hart Pony Baseball & Softball park and restores up to 6,250 gallons of water per minute, or enough for an estimated 5,000 households in the SCV per year. The $6-million project also includes the return to service of three wells previously impacted by PFAS. 

Officials also announced that the agency’s second PFAS water treatment at the Valley Center Well is now ready to begin construction. Completion of the facility, as well as two others, is slated for 2022 and is expected to restore water equal to about 4,000 families altogether. 

“These new water treatment facilities are an investment in our long-term water supply and provide safe, high-quality water to thousands of Santa Clarita Valley residents,” said Stone. “We look forward to continuing to bring more projects online.”

Work to bring PFAS water treatment facilities to the SCV comes after the agency worked a year ago to remove the chemicals from groundwater in the Santa Clara River. 

The agency also filed a lawsuit in late October against multiple companies, such as Raytheon Technologies, Chemours and DuPont over, over water contamination, “for their roles in introducing PFAS into the water supply in Santa Clarita” and alleging the companies knew for decades the dangers of PFAS and failed to provide a warning on the effects they have on human health and the environment. The companies previously stated that they are defending their positions that they acted responsibly.

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