Perchlorate cleanup project in Los Angeles groundwater basin

water flowing from pipe water flowing from pipe

December 3, 2019


WRD is currently investigating and will be cleaning up perchlorate in groundwater with the assistance of various regulatory agencies in association with our Los Angeles Forebay Groundwater Task Force. The perchlorate concentrations detected in groundwater are among the highest in the state and the impacted groundwater is currently located in a deep aquifer system within the Los Angeles Forebay. This is a particularly sensitive area of the basin as the groundwater (along with contaminants) can migrate through the coarse-grained sediments directly into the regional aquifer system representing a substantially imminent threat to the Central Basin and West Coast Basin (or CBWCB). In fact, perchlorate has already been detected at elevated levels and is currently having to be addressed in at least two municipal water supply wells located down-gradient of the City of Vernon. The source of the perchlorate is unknown and a responsible party (RP) has not been identified by the either the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) or Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board).

Our role

Advisian has been serving as technical consultant to WRD for the Los Angeles Forebay Perchlorate Cleanup Project from 2011 to present and was awarded the subsequent contract to deliver the project through construction and startup from 2019 to 2023. The team will provide project management, geoscience, treatability, and engineering services, with our newest team members from legacy Jacobs ECR, the former Industrial Water Consultancy Group from CH2MHill, providing input on the treatment process design development, and review of design deliverables by Advisian’s trusted partners at ARCADIS and Water Quality & Treatment Solutions, Inc (WQTS). Key Advisian team members include Stephanie Botha, Mark Trudell, and Steve Winners.

The solution

WRD successfully applied for and received a grant for over $7 million from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) through the Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program (Proposition 1). The State grant funds will help pay for approximately 80% of the cleanup construction costs to address the perchlorate impacts along with other comingled volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In 2021, a groundwater extraction and treatment system will be installed to immediately reduce contaminant concentrations within the perchlorate "hot spot" to help prevent any further migration into the CBWCB. Additional data will be collected during the investigation phase to help support the various regulatory agencies in identifying the perchlorate source and yet to be determined RP.


This project would not have been possible without the support, expertise, and collaboration of the WRD serving as project manager, WQTS delivering treatability services, ARCADIS providing detailed engineering services, and AECOM serving as technical consultant to WRD. The project is administered by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Division of Financial Assistance (DFA), reviewed by a technical advisory committee (TAC) that includes the DFA, the Regional Board, and the Division of Drinking Water; with approvals by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).


For more information, contact Steve Winners, Project Manager: