Trace amounts of cancer-causing chemical found in San Jose recycled water

Inside a potential setback for efforts through the Santa Clara Valley Water District and also the town of San Jose to grow using recycled water in Plastic Valley, tests have discovered that trace levels of a chemical suspected to result in cancer have the symptoms of spread from recycled water utilized in an irrigation project into shallow groundwater.

The research, funded through the water district, started in September 2008 at Integrated Device Technology, a semiconductor company in south San Jose, and ongoing for 18 several weeks. Scientists irrigated grass about the company’s property with recycled water and located that small quantities of NDMA, a chemical that’s produced like a consequence of being a disinfectant water with swimming pool water, seeped into shallow groundwater

The scientists examined the groundwater in advance and didn’t discover the chemical.

Roughly 5 percent from the water the water district presently provides to San Jose along with other towns originates from blocking, cleaning and dealing with sewage to high levels so you can use it again as irrigation water. The district and also the town of San Jose are creating a $50 million advanced treatment plant with the aim of doubling using recycled water, and much more controversially, mixing it with existing groundwater sources now employed for consuming.

Don Gage, chairman from the water district board, stated Tuesday that he’s carefully following a study, whose final five-volume version arrives in This summer. But he stated the preliminary findings aren’t a dying

knell for that recycled water expansion efforts.

“I am always worried about any pollutants which are within the water,Inch stated Gage. “My understanding, though is it does not exceed the condition standard.”

The Environmental protection agency hasn’t set a most for that chemical in h2o, although California includes a “public health goal” of three parts per trillion. The research found amounts of three or four parts per trillion lower to 30 ft within the groundwater to begin at 6024 Silver Creek Valley Road, but didn’t test much deeper aquifers to ascertain if it had migrated lower.

Gage also noted that NDMA can be taken off through various techniques in the treatment plant, including reverse osmosis — a procedure where water needs through small filters and membranes — in addition to treatment with ultraviolet radiation.

The recognition from the chemical within the shallow groundwater demonstrated that soils for the reason that a part of San Jose don’t filter caffeine, the research came to the conclusion. Although Plastic Valley will get roughly 1 / 2 of its h2o from subterranean wells, individuals are deep subterranean. Nobody drinks the shallow groundwater, which frequently consists of other pollutants, including fertilizer, and oil that may clean off streets.

“I’m not sure it originated from water,Inch Gage added. “They might have put fertilizer on the floor or anything. We all know there is a problem, but we have to find out more. If it’s within the recycled water, we must discover a way of getting rid of it otherwise people will not accept it. They are not likely to use water or stay hydrated which has a carcinogen inside it.Inch

NDMA is classified like a suspected human carcinogen through the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. A water soluble, yellow-colored liquid, back in the day utilized in rocket fuel, but is no more manufactured. Rather, it appears from time to time like a consequence of water disinfection using swimming pool water. It’s also present in a small amount in healed meat, seafood, beer, and cigarettes.

Tests have proven caffeine causes liver growths in laboratory rats.

Joan Maher, deputy operating officer for water supply for that district, stated the district hasn’t examined for NDMA in areas where recycled water has been utilized for irrigation in the last decade. Research through the U.S. Geological Survey of seven local groundwater wells didn’t identify it.

Environmentalists stated the problem is of interest, but ultimately solvable.

“NDMA is a nice potent chemical at really low levels. It’s not uncommon to identify it in wastewater,” stated Jennifer Clary, policy analyst with Water That Is Clean Action, an environment group in Bay Area.

“I am thrilled they’re discovering it at an earlier stage to allow them to reverse course and connect it. They will need to do additional treatment, that is good because you will get cleaner water. But which comes at a price.Inch