Contaminated Water Cleanup Open To Scrutiny

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Payson residents will have the chance to find out tonight (Tuesday) how effective the town's two groundwater treatment systems on Aero Drive are.


The Payson Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund Site Community Advisory Board is holding a public meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the council chambers at Town Hall.


The advisory board is a group of local residents who worked closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to investigate and cleanup a groundwater contamination plume found near Aero Drive and the Beeline Highway nine years ago.


Town officials think a now-defunct dry cleaning business dumped PCE, a solvent commonly used in dry cleaning, in the area more than two decades ago.


ADEQ officials will join advisory board members to answer questions from the public. Their primary purpose, said ADEQ Community Involvement Coordinator Bruce Clendenning, is to update board members and other attendees on how effectively the expanded groundwater treatment systems and interim groundwater treatment systems have been cleaning up the dry-cleaning solvent.


The meeting also will include a briefing and discussion of ADEQ's future planned activities, including:


• The Soil Vapor Extraction Pilot Test. "This is essentially a test of a new technology to see how well it works in removing solvent contamination from a certain part of the contaminant plume and the soil itself," Clendenning said. "We'll be explaining how it works and what we hope to accomplish with it."


• The construction of additional wells.


• Discussion and preliminary planning for an open house to be held in late May at the treatment facilities.


"We've held two of those in the past, and both were very successful," Clendenning said. "It gives people an opportunity to see the plant, to understand how the groundwater is getting treated, and to show them that there really is no issue with (Payson's) drinking water because of these systems."

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