Cal Water held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week to commemorate the completion of a treatment plant that eliminates TCP in the drinking water delivered to its Selma District customers. Selma Councilmembers Scott Robertson, Louis Franco, Michael Derr, and Yvette Montijo, representatives from the offices of State Senator Andy Vidak, Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, and Congressman David Valadao, and Selma Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Allen were among those in attendance.
The treatment plant was constructed after the State Water Resources Control Board established a new maximum contaminant level (MCL) for TCP of 5 parts per trillion (ppt). Two wells in the Selma District had levels of TCP that would exceed the new MCL if left untreated. According to Local Manager Steve Johnson, the Selma District was in compliance with the MCL before the January 2018 deadline, and crews are working to install treatment at the second site in order to bring the additional water source online later this year.
TCP, a manmade organic chemical used mostly as a soil fumigant until the 1980s, seeped into some groundwater supplies, including those in Cal Water’s Selma service area. No longer used in soil fumigants today, the constituent has been found to cause potential health risks when consumed in high volumes.
“Treating five parts per trillion is essentially like removing a few drops of water from an Olympic-sized swimming pool; It is a very complex process to remove these trace amounts,” said Johnson. “But, our commitment is to provide a reliable supply of high-quality water to our customers, and through significant research and preparation ahead of the new regulation, our crews were able to construct and implement treatment within six months.”
“I would like to thank our water quality experts, engineers, contractors, and community partners for everything they did to support this critical water infrastructure improvement project,” Johnson added. “Because of you, we are able to continue fulfilling our promise to provide our customers and community with quality, service, and value.”