TUCSON WATER WILL SUSPEND OPERATIONS OF
TARP TREATMENT FACILITY
MAYOR ROMERO, ADEQ DIRECTOR, TUCSON WATER
TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE 11 A.M.
Tucson Water is preparing for a temporary, indefinite shutdown of the Tucson Airport Remediation Project water treatment facility (TARP) on June 21, 2021 because of the increasing levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the groundwater wells serving the plant.
Mayor Regina Romero will be joined by Director Misael Cabrera of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and others for a press conference at Tucson City Hall at 11:00 a.m. today, June 8 (details below).
The utility assures the public the water coming out of the TARP plant has been and continues to be safe. Tucson Water has successfully been removing PFAS at TARP to below detection limits. However, the rising levels would create the risk of PFAS entering the drinking water system if operations were to continue without further measures in place.
Tucson Water’s top priority is the delivery of safe drinking water. PFAS levels entering TARP have been increasing as a plume of contaminated groundwater emanating from Tucson International Airport enters that part of the aquifer. The levels are approaching a limit at which Tucson Water can no longer operate the plant safely for its original purpose, which is the removal of industrial contaminants TCE and 1,4-Dioxane.
While TARP is offline, the approximately 60,000 customers who have been receiving treated water from the plant will instead receive a combination of recharged and recovered Colorado River water and other local groundwater sources that are not impacted by PFAS, identical to that served to most Tucson Water customers. PFAS has not been detected in recovered Colorado River water.
The TARP facility has been in operation since 1994 and treats contaminated groundwater pumped from a Superfund site near Tucson International Airport.
PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS:
WHAT: Press conference to discuss new actions to be announced relating to the detection of rising PFAS levels in groundwater near Tucson International Airport.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 8th at 11:00 a.m.
**A tour of the Tucson Airport Remediation Project water treatment facility will be available to media following the press conference at 12:15 p.m. (close-toed shoes and facial coverings required to enter site)**
In person: Tucson City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
255 West Alameda St, Tucson AZ 85701
Mayor Regina Romero
Misael Cabrera, Director, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Tim Thomure, Interim Assistant City Manager, City of Tucson