Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases By Date

 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Opens Water Treatment Facility in Las Cruces

Release Date: 08/23/2012
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – August 23, 2012) During a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, City of Las Cruces, Doņa Ana County and the New Mexico Environment Department celebrated the opening of a water treatment facility in Las Cruces to remove contaminants from groundwater.

The new facility will remove the chemical perchloroethylene, commonly known as PCE, from groundwater in the area known as the Griggs and Walnut Groundwater Plume Superfund site. PCE is a man-made substance widely used for dry cleaning fabrics and textiles and for metal degreasing operations.

“Many people have worked together over several years to make this milestone possible,” said Sam Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 6. “Because of their cooperation, creativity and dedication, the people of Las Cruces have a reliable, safe supply of drinking water.”

“This groundwater cleanup project is another example of how the City of Las Cruces is committed to the health and safety of its residents,” said Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima.

Doņa Ana County Commission Chairwoman Karen G. Perez said, “I’m proud of the work that’s been done to bring this project to fruition. It’s been a remarkable collaborative effort on behalf of the many people who rely on safe, clean groundwater here in the City of Las Cruces.”

The Griggs and Walnut Groundwater Plume site is centered near the intersection of Griggs Avenue and Walnut Street within the City of Las Cruces and is approximately 1.8 mile by one-half mile in size. Four municipal drinking water supply wells were impacted by the site but through the city’s blending programs, PCE levels were kept below the maximum contaminant level established by the Safe Drinking Water Act or taken off line. No customer was ever delivered water with PCE amounts that exceeded federal standards. Wells 18 and 27 are being utilized to treat the plume, and the other two wells are used to monitor for PCE and other contaminants.

The water treatment facility will utilize an air stripper to expose contaminated groundwater to oxygen which dissipates the PCE. The cleansed water is then suitable for drinking. The $5.2 million project to date is jointly funded by the City of Las Cruces and Doņa Ana County.

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

# # #