"This Project is a win-win-win situation. A win for the environment, a win for the city, and a win for the future." - Art Spratlin, EPA Region 7 Director
The original plan to remediate the groundwater contamination consisted of pumping water from the ground, air stripping out the VOCs and discharging the resulting remediated water to a receiving stream (Cow Creek). However, much of the remediated water is very high in chlorides and KDHE prohibits its disposal into waterways where it can affect downstream uses. When faced with the inability to discharge the treated water to a receiving stream, the City stepped back in search of a solution that could put the natural water resource to a beneficial use and provide a regional solution for not only the 4th and Carey pollution, but also the high chloride waters and other industrial contamination in the area. The most effective way to remove both the VOCs and chlorides from water was through a reverse osmosis (RO) treatment process.
The Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Facility Project, which was completed in May 2009, provides a regional solution to the widespread regional groundwater contamination problem in the City's southeast industrial area, resulting in an economically beneficial and environmentally sound approach to cleaning up the groundwater contamination. The City fulfills its obligation to clean up the groundwater contamination, and the community is assured a much higher quality and safe drinking water for many years into the future.The reverse osmosis water treatment facility has an average daily capacity of 10 million gallons per day at a 60% treated water to 40% untreated municipal water blending ratio. In addition to the RO treatment facility the project also includes source area remediation treatment, many miles of buried pipelines, groundwater remediation extraction wells, and two Class I Non-hazardous UIC wells.