Sat, Sept. 21

Arsenic Update in Big Park

Steve Gudovic, P.E.  President
Big Park Water Company

Steve Gudovic, P.E. President Big Park Water Company

In the past, from time to time, I was writing articles about the arsenic issue. As you know, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required public water systems to lower the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of arsenic in drinking water from 50 parts per billion ("ppb") to 10 ppb. Since the last time we discussed the arsenic issue, we made substantial progress.

In the case of Little Park Water Company servicing the area known as "Highland Estates I and II" and "Cathedral Rock Ranch", we installed arsenic treatment equipment at two wells. Both of the wells with the equipment are capable of reducing arsenic in the water below MCL. For all our wells we selected to utilize the adsorptive technology with titanium based media manufactured by DOW Chemical Water Solution Division. Present and future customers of Little Park Water Company will have an opportunity to drink the water within an allowable amount of arsenic. We are especially pleased that our future customers as Verde Valley School and Camp Soaring Eagle will enjoy the benefits of Little Park Water system.

The cost of installation of this type of facility is substantial. Little Park Water Company financed this project with developers' contribution and with debt and equity of the company. The Federal government is constantly imposing new regulations; i.e., arsenic, which is some cases does not have any significant impact on the health and welfare of our customers. Some of these projects are capital intensive and at some point of time, the public must share the cost.

With respect to Big Park Water Company servicing the majority of the VOC, we have 7 production wells. Of those wells, we decided to equip 5 of them with arsenic removal facilities. The other 2 wells are low production wells and it is not cost efficient to equip them with arsenic removal equipment. Eventually, we will remove these two wells from production. So far, we are in the last phase of installation of the equipment at 2 of our major producing wells. We are expecting in the next several weeks that we will be able to obtain all of the governmental approvals to start servicing our customers. These 2 wells represent over 50% of our production per year, therefore, we can expect that some part of our service area will have an arsenic level below 10 ppb but on average the arsenic level will be below 20 ppb. As soon as we put these 2 wells in production, we will immediately begin to plan for installation of the arsenic removal equipment on the remaining three wells.

We are committed to providing our customers with clean and safe water. It is our commitment to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to bring all our systems in compliance with the EPA mandated MCL's. We ask our customers to preserve our natural resources to the best of their abilities. Thank you for your understanding and support in our quest to meet the new EPA standards.

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