Fluoride Action Network

Wolfforth arsenic levels in water decrease

Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal | June 23rd, 2016 | By Brian Navarette
Location: United States, Texas

The city of Wolfforth reported that its arsenic levels in its drinking water have lowered.

“Our minimum acceptable level of arsenic is (10 parts per billion and) since we have put in the storage tanks, the well collection, everything with the filtration going to our storage tanks and everything else. We got our samples back the other day and we are back to a (10.8 parts per billion). So, we are (.8 part per billion) above of the acceptable level,” said Wolfforth City Manager Darrell Newsom in a phone interview last week.

The level is 1.2 parts per billion lower than reported in March, when the city reported the arsenic level was at 12 parts per billion.

“What that means is that the $3 million or so that we spent just on the other infrastructure is already working toward that level — but the fluoride levels aren’t going to change. So, nothing is going to get us out of trouble on fluoride levels but that is how close we were just by blending our water,” Newsom said.

The $6.7 million multi-phase EDR, or Electro Dialysis Removal system, is under construction to help bring arsenic and fluoride levels to standard. The project is expected to be completed later this year.

According to an earlier report, Newsom said the city has been actively working to bring its arsenic and fluoride levels to meet standards since getting an order from the Environmental Protection Agency in July 2012.

Arsenic levels had not worsened in Wolfforth. Rather, the EPA changed the threshold for what is acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water. Nearly a decade ago, the EPA changed the acceptable limit from 50 to 10 parts per billion.

According to the General Electric Power and Water website, benefits the city will see once the project is complete include an efficient use of scarce water resources and low pretreatment requirements and costs.

Also, the city will see low chemical consumption costs, a long membrane life — typically 10 or more years — and a better ability to recover from less-than-ideal feed water quality.

According to an earlier report, the city of Wolfforth conducted a three-phase pilot study earlier this year to determine the effectiveness of EDR technology for removal of arsenic and fluoride from the city’s drinking water supply.

The city contracted with GE Water and Process Technologies, a group that provides water treatment, wastewater treatment and process system solutions, to provide the pilot-scale EDR unit, which was installed by Wolfforth at the city’s pump station site.

The group provided startup, maintenance, on-site support and monitored operations remotely throughout the study, using the unit’s supervisory control and data acquisition output. OJD Engineering provided overall coordination and supervision of the study.

The purpose of the study was to verify that EDR was a viable treatment option for the city’s water supply, and to establish equipment operating parameters that could be applied to the design of a full-scale treatment system, and the results were positive.

The EDR effectively reduced inorganic contaminants from the Wolfforth water supply, including arsenic and fluoride, according to that report.


Note from FAN:

• Wolfforth was listed with a fluoride level in its water of 4.9 ppm
• Dec 7, 2004: Wolfforth Residents Warned Not To Drink The Water
• Dec 8, 2004: Wolfforth Officials Say Water Is Safe
• Aug 2006: Report- Development and Field Evaluation of an Aquifer Stratification Testing System by Reedy RC, Kurtzman DJ, Tachovsky JA, Scanlon BA. Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
• Aug 2007: Draft Feasibility Report. Feasibility analysis of water supply for small public water systems. Wolfforth Place.
• Mar 27, 2008: Wolfforth works to settle well dispute
• Dec 5, 2012: Letter from EPA to AIM Water Company, LLC issuing an Order in violation arsenic of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
• July 26, 2013: City of Wolfforth installing new system for clean water
• Mar 7, 2014, EPA warns Wolfforth about excess fluoride in water
• Mar 18, 2014: Wolfforth not alone: New Home, Morton also received notices…
• Jun 16, 2014: Wolfforth Moving on Project to Clean Up Water
• Jan-Dec, 2015: Water Quality Report (in violation of both fluoride & arsenic levels)
— Highest level detected in 2014 for fluoride was 5.4 ppm with the fluoride range listed at 4.73 – 5.36 ppm.
— Highest level detected in 2014 for arsenic was 19 ppb with the arsenic rage listed at 9.09 – 19 ppb.