West Phoenix has one of the largest contaminated groundwater plumes in the country. Known as the West Van Buren Area (WVBA) groundwater plume, the impacted area extends from McDowell Road to Buckeye Road, and from 7th Avenue to beyond 79th Avenue. View map.
At least 20 Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID) wells located in the area have been impacted by the contamination and more than 10 additional RID wells are threatened. Pilot Project Treatment Systems installed in West Phoenix neighborhoods are removing the contamination in order to make the water safe for use by West Valley businesses and residents. Currently, four systems are operational.
Spinnaker Holdings, LLC, of Denison, Texas, provided the Pilot Treatment System design and construction of the first four systems and operates the active facilities. To recover costs associated with the cleanup, RID filed a $40 million civil action lawsuit against Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) — corporate, governmental and private entities who have been identified as liable parties for contributing to the groundwater contamination —under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (also called “Superfund”). The WVBA WQARF (State Superfund) Site was first listed in 1987. The contaminants include trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), 1,1-dichloroethene (DCE), 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA) and MTBE.
RID provides water for agricultural and residential customers throughout Phoenix and has been managing water resources in Phoenix's West Valley since the 1920s.