Aerojet, Government and Regulators Dedicate New Groundwater Treatment Facility; Collaboration results in groundwater cleanup, protected drinking water and cost savings for Sacramento County taxpayers

CARMICHAEL, Calif., Aug. 25, 2010 – Aerojet, the Carmichael Water District (CWD) and Sacramento County Parks hosted Congressman Dan Lungren, Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters, officials from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to dedicate a new groundwater treatment facility located in Ancil Hoffman Park.

The new treatment facility removes trace levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a byproduct associated with liquid rocket engine testing, from groundwater by exposing it to ultra violet light. NDMA was previously detected in 2003 in a monitor well in the Rossmoor Bar area of Rancho Cordova. Additional sampling indicated that NDMA was also present in a monitor well just north of the American River in Carmichael.

“CWD immediately began working with Aerojet, EPA, RWQCB and DTSC to find a workable remedy so we could spend our time fixing the problem instead of squabbling over it,” said Mark Emmerson, CWD board director.

It was determined that a centrally sited treatment facility could help expedite cleanup, while also providing minimal disruption to the community from extensive pipeline construction. Sacramento County Parks was approached and, with input from local residents and community organizations, the Ancil Hoffman site was chosen.

Prior to the construction of the facility, Ancil Hoffman Golf Course purchased potable water for irrigation from CWD. Now, the cleaned groundwater is used to irrigate the park and golf course. At a treatment rate of 900 gallons per minute, the facility cleans 1.3M gallons daily, providing half of the park’s water needs from May through August, and all of the water needs for the remainder of the year. Any water in excess of the course’s irrigation needs is discharged into the American River.

“One of the significant benefits of this collaborative effort is the conservation of CWD’s potable water for its customers,” said Jane Diamond, Superfund division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “This project stands out as a model for the beneficial reuse of treated water at cleanup sites, while protecting public health and restoring our natural environment.”

This project also will result in financial advantages to Sacramento County. “Using treated water means Sacramento County will forego the purchase of 125 million gallons of irrigation water annually,” said Supervisor Susan Peters. “In addition, the county renegotiated a more favorable rate with CWD for the additional irrigation water required in warmer months and is benefitting from a long-term land lease with Aerojet for the park location.”

On-line since May 2010, the 6,800 sq. ft. facility was architecturally designed to blend in with other park buildings, and has extra capacity for additional treatment systems in the event they are needed.

“In addition to controlling the plume, this facility protects drinking water resources for CWD ratepayers, reduces demand for potable water and saves county taxpayers money in lower-park irrigation costs,” said Chris Conley, vice president of Environmental Health and Safety for Aerojet. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

“The success of this effort shows the importance of the collaboration between Aerojet, CWD and the regulators,” said Congressman Dan Lungren. “In this case they addressed the issue of safety in the drinking water in Carmichael and quickly made it a priority. As a result, they have a facility that not only protects our water, but is also a community asset.”

For additional information, contact:

Aerojet
Tim Murphy, Director, Public Affairs
(916) 351-8530
timothy.murphy@gencorp.com

Carmichael Water District
Steve Nugent, General Manager
(916) 483-2452
steve@carmichaelwd.org

Sacramento County Parks
Zeke Holst, Communication & Media Officer
Sacramento County Municipal Services Agency
(916) 875-4570
holstz@saccounty.net