Treating Emerging Contaminants in Drinking Water: LADWP’s Planning and Design

Wednesday, August 9, 2017: 1:10 p.m.
Nicole Blute, Ph.D., PE , Hazen and Sawyer, Los Angeles, CA
Todd Rother, MBA, PE , LADWP, Los Angeles, CA
Kurt Wells, PE , LADWP, Los Angeles, CA
Christine Cotton, PE , Arcadis, Los Angeles, CA
Mark Trudell, PhD, PG, CHG , Advisian, Costa Mesa, CA

The City of Los Angeles encompasses an area of 465 square miles with a population of nearly 4 million residents. Local groundwater provides approximately 11% of the City’s total water supply and the City has a goal of achieving 50% of the water sources supply from the San Fernando Basin by 2035.

Many Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) groundwater production wells in the San Fernando Basin are impacted by contamination caused by various commercial and industrial activities. Without comprehensive containment and groundwater basin remediation, the City will significantly lose the ability to use this valuable local resource within the next decade. To improve groundwater clean-up and increase the supply of high quality renewable water resources for the City, LADWP is undertaking a program to evaluate and implement groundwater treatment throughout the SFB. This 10 year program of up to $600M will greatly improve local renewable water supplies for the City.

Design of treatment for the first wellfield is underway and illustrates the complexity of trying to implement treatment of the various contamination plumes given the extensive pumping activity within the basin. Challenges have included evaluation of contaminants of concern, treatment alternatives, and facility sizing given project uncertainties. Extensive modeling and bench-scale testing have been completed to reduce the potential uncertainties and improve the treatment design criteria. The results of the engineering evaluation has been the design of an innovative UV advanced oxidation treatment facility with granular activated carbon for peroxide quenching that will treat the primary contaminant of concern (i.e., 1,4-dioxane), as well as VOCs.

This paper will present the approach for beginning the expansion of LADWP’s groundwater treatment facilities and treatability testing results providing the foundation for the design.

Nicole Blute, Ph.D., PE, Hazen and Sawyer, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Blute is the Project Manager to LADWP's Owner's Agent team and a Vice President for Hazen and Sawyer in Los Angeles. She develops and leads water projects, including groundwater treatment, technology testing for emerging inorganic and organic constituents, and distribution system water quality.

Todd Rother, MBA, PE, LADWP, Los Angeles, CA
Mr. Rother is an Engineer in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Water Engineering and Technical Services Division Groundwater Remediation Planning.

Kurt Wells, PE, LADWP, Los Angeles, CA
Mr. Wells is with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Water Engineering and Technical Services Division Groundwater Project Management.

Christine Cotton, PE, Arcadis, Los Angeles, CA
Ms. Cotton is a Technical Lead on the LADWP Owner's Agent team and a Senior Vice President with Arcadis in Los Angeles.

Mark Trudell, PhD, PG, CHG, Advisian, Costa Mesa, CA
Mr. Trudell is a Technical Lead for the LADWP Owner's Agent team, and a Principal Hydrogeologist for Advisian.