As the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency works to remove hazardous substances from the Saugus Formation Aquifer, the agency hosted a virtual public meeting to inform residents of the process and gather community input Thursday.
The aquifer is the deepest of the SCV’s underground groundwater reservoirs that lies in the upper Santa Clara River watershed, near Magic Mountain Parkway, according to Steve Cole, assistant general manager at SCV Water.
“The Saugus Formation goes down several thousand feet, and it’s historically been used as a groundwater resource for the community, especially during dry times,” Cole said.
Over many decades, hazardous substances, such as perchlorate and volatile organic compounds, were released by entities, including the Whittaker Corp. at the nearby Whittaker-Bermite facility along with the Saugus Industrial Center, formerly known as the Keysor-Century Corporation Facility, and entered into four production wells, Saugus 1 and 2, V-201, and V- 205, Cole added.
In 1997, Saugus 1 and 2 were shut down when perchlorate was detected, and only returned to service after the Saugus Perchlorate Treatment Facility was installed in 2011.
“Low levels of VOCs have consistently been detected at that treatment plant,” Cole said, adding that additional treatment is needed to meet state requirements.
Similarly, V-201 was shut down in 2010, and a wellhead perchlorate treatment system was installed, while V-205 was shut down in 2012 and has remained so since.
To keep the SCV’s water supply safe for drinking, the preferred plan includes groundwater treatment for both perchlorate and VOCs to fully address and reduce the public health and environmental effects of hazardous substances identified in the aquifer, while complying with regulatory requirements, according to Steve Winners, an environmental consultant with Advisian.
The public is invited to review and comment on the engineering evaluation/cost analysis dated January 2021 regarding SCV Water’s proposed non-time-critical removal action for the Saugus aquifer and the associated community involvement plan. To watch the meeting or for more information, visit yourscvwater.com/removal-action.
The 30-day public comment period runs until 5 p.m. Feb. 24, with comments accepted if postmarked or emailed by the deadline. Comments can be submitted to Jim Leserman, senior engineer, via email at [email protected] or by mail addressed to Leserman at SCV Water, located at 26521 Summit Circle, and should include “Saugus Aquifer CIP, EE/CA Comment” in the subject line.