Cleanup of Contaminated Groundwater Project is Underway

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.

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.


Summary of RID Wellhead Treatment System Bypass Issues

The four groundwater wellhead treatment systems installed and operated by RID as part of its Early Response Action were placed into bypass mode on May 30, 2014. This action was discussed and agreed to by ADEQ and RID in order to accommodate the following ongoing actions:

  • ADEQ/Public Review and Comment on the Treatment Systems O&M Plan
  • Treatment Systems Warranty Work
  • On-Going Operation & Maintenance

    Download the report PDF | ZIP

RID Response Action Featured in Presentation to Arizona Hydrological Society Symposium

September 19, 2013--At the Arizona Hydrological Society’s 2013 Symposium in Tucson, Synergy Environmental’s Dennis Shirley, Joel Peterson and Andrew MacHugh presented an overview of the Roosevelt Irrigation District Response Action, addressing Central Phoenix groundwater contamination.

More background information can be found in the presentation abstract. PDF | ZIP
Download the full presentation. PDF | ZIP

ADEQ Approves RID Feasability Study Work Plan

July, 2013--The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) sent Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID) officials a letter approving RID's Feasability Study Work Plan
Download Letter PDF | ZIP

Gallagher & Kennedy Withdraws as Lawsuit Counsel; Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman and Balint to be Substitute Counsel

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (June 4, 2013)—Officials at the Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID) today confirmed that the federal district court has granted an Application for Substitution of Counsel with Client Consent, filed by the law firms of Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman and Balint, P.C. (BFFB) and Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. (G&K).

By granting this application, the Court allows G&K to withdraw completely as counsel for this lawsuit; to be replaced by BFFB. “This action simplifies some of the legal issues surrounding the litigation,” explained Roosevelt Irrigation District Superintendent Donovan Neese. “Now, we will be able to bring more focus to the key issues,” he said.

Roosevelt Irrigation District vs Salt River Project is a civil action brought against a number of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs), identified as possible contributors to groundwater pollution in South Phoenix. A suit was filed under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980; more commonly referenced as Superfund. The suit seeks recovery of costs incurred by RID in responding to the Defendants' release or threatened release of hazardous substances that impact, or threaten to impact, wells owned and operated by RID. The suit also includes other claims under state law for environmental nuisance and trespass. “Gallagher & Kennedy will continue to assist RID as we move forward with our efforts to protect and restore RID’s wells and water supply,” said Neese.

The Roosevelt Irrigation District has been serving customers in the West Metropolitan Phoenix area, since 1928. The District uses 50 miles of main canals and 185 miles of lateral canals to deliver water to the West Valley for beneficial use. As part of its efforts to promote responsible groundwater stewardship, RID is leading a cooperative effort called the West Valley Groundwater Cleanup Coalition

Download Press Release. PDF | ZIP

30 Day Public Comment Period: Feasibility Study Work Plan For the West Van Buren (WQARF) Registry Site

April 5, 2013 — NOTICE OF 30 DAY PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON REQUEST OF APPROVAL OF FEASIBILITY STUDY WORK PLAN FOR THE WEST VAN BUREN WATER QUALITY ASSURANCE REVOLVING FUND (WQARF) REGISTRY SITE

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID), a political subdivision of the State of Arizona, has submitted and seeks approval of a draft final Feasibility Study Work Plan for the West Van Buren WQARF Site pursuant to A.A.C. R18-16-407 and 413. RID will conduct the Feasibility Study pursuant to a Working Agreement with ADEQ. A draft Feasibility Study Work Plan defines the work that will be conducted by RID to identify a remedy and alternative remedies that appear to be capable of achieving the established remedial objectives.

The West Van Buren WQARF Site is located in Phoenix and is bounded approximately by W. McDowell Road to the north, 7th Avenue to the east, W. Buckeye Road to the south and 75th Avenue to the west. In addition, a finger shaped plume exists between 7th Avenue and 27th Avenue between Buckeye Road and Lower Buckeye Road.

A copy of the Feasibility Study Work Plan is available for review at the Harmon Public Library, 1325 S. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003. A copy is also available on the ADEQ web site, http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/sps/wvb.html or at ADEQ Records Center, 1110 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. In Phoenix, please call (602) 771-4380 or email recordscenter@azdeq.gov 24 hours in advance to schedule an appointment to review the document. For further information on the West Van Buren WQARF site, please visit: http://azdeq.gov/environ/waste/sps/siteinfo.html.

PARTIES WISHING TO MAKE COMMENTS regarding the request of approval may make such comments in writing to ADEQ, Attention: Tina Le Page, Waste Programs Division, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 1110 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Additionally, ADEQ will hold a Community Advisory Board meeting on April 15, 2013, starting at 6:00 pm, at ADEQ’s office located at 1110 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007, at which time written comments may also submitted. Comments must be postmarked no later than 5:00 pm on May 6, 2013.

Questions regarding this notice should be directed to Wendy Flood, (602) 771-4410 or via e-mail at flood.wendy@azdeq.gov.

Dated this 5 of April 2013

ADEQ APPROVES MODIFIED ERA WORK PLAN

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) sent Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID) officials a letter providing conditional approval of RID’s Modified Early Response Action Work Plan
Download Letter PDF | ZIP

Briefing recap and downloadable presentation

On December 6, 2012, Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID) representatives gave a technical briefing to the West Van Buren WQARF Site Community Advisory Board (CAB). The briefing provided a summary of Early Response Action (ERA) activities; and review of project accomplishments; an overview of the Modified ERA Work Plan and a brief discussion regarding the Draft Feasibility Study Work Plan. Download the presentation PPT | ZIP (12.7 MB)

Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of RID

In World Resources Company v ROOSEVELT IRRIGATION DISTRICT, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of World Resources’ claim.
See more. PDF | ZIP