Upside Of A Superfund Site
By Kathleen Ferris
Two companies contain and clean contaminated groundwater under the Phoenix Goodyear Airport located in the west Valley. That's not the only good news. Now both of these companies are saving the City of Goodyear $325,000 in irrigating costs each year. The companies give Goodyear enough clean water to irrigate the town's largest park and its Cactus League-baseball training complex.
In March, the town council approved a partnership with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. The company pumps and treats groundwater under the guidance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. pumps out about 1,151 acre-feet per year of contaminated groundwater. (Large amounts of water are measured in acre-feet, the amount of water it takes to cover an acre in a foot of water or provide 2.5 households with enough water for a year.) Then the groundwater is cleaned and the clean water is injected back into an underground aquifer. The cleaned water helps to contain and shrink the plume of contaminated water under the site and prevents the plume from entering the City of Goodyear’s drinking water wells.
Before injecting the water back into the ground, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. will give the City of Goodyear 150 acre-feet or 13 percent of the treated water to irrigate the Goodyear Ball Field Complex, the off-season home for the Cincinnati and the Cleveland baseball teams. The water will save the town about $250,000 a year.
Crane Co., a manufacturing company, is cleaning up water on the north end of the airport. Crane Co. also pumps, cleans and then injects about 4,000 acre-feet of water every year back into the groundwater aquifer. Crane Co. did not contaminate the water but inherited the obligation to clean the water when it bought the company identified as causing the problem.
In 2012, Crane Co. began sharing 50 acre-feet of the clean remediated groundwater with the City of Goodyear. The cleaned groundwater is reused at the city’s Community Park. The water saves the town about $75,000 a year.
For 45 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit www.amwua.org.