By Ted AYALA
Years of research into reducing the levels of hexavalent chromium, better known as chromium 6, are nearly wrapped up, declared Glendale Water & Power (GWP) staff during Tuesday’s Glendale City Council meeting.
“We have reached a seminal point here in the research and study of chromium 6 in water,” said City Manager Scott Ochoa. “We’re putting the finishing touches to the research stage.”
According to Ramon Abueg, the GWP’s assistant general manager of Electrical Services, the city has been working on its chromium 6 treatment projects for the past 13 years.
Additional funding to continue the project was approved by the council. Among the expenditures listed are 400-acre-feet of groundwater from the Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power (LADWP) at a cost not to exceed $280,000 and a resolution to appropriate nearly $1 million to fund further research.
Abueg noted that the city is not paying out of pocket for these projects. They are funded through state grants.
“This research is being done for California and is funded by Prop. 50. So all of our costs are covered,” he said.
Councilmember Ara Najarian inquired why further comparisons of two chromium 6 treatment methods, known as weak base anion (WBA) and strong base anion (SBA) methods, still needed to be conducted.
“Not everybody can use the same technology,” answered Abueg. “So what we’re trying to do is apply what we’re learning from this and apply to this to different kinds of wells across the state.”
Abueg also noted that this research was being conducted not just for the city, but also for the entire state. Results gained from Glendale’s research will eventually be applied to other municipalities and water districts.
“This will really benefit everyone in the state,” said Ochoa.
“This isn’t just a local Glendale issue. This involves the entire San Fernando Valley … and literally all the way down to Long Beach,” added Councilmember Frank Quintero. “It’s the pollution that took place for decades, mostly from the aerospace industry. There is a giant plume that is moving to the ocean. That’s what this is about. Not that this city is particularly polluted more than others in the county.”
Mayor Dave Weaver pointed to the research as a point of civic pride, congratulating those involved.
“We have set the national standard,” he said. “Technology we’ve helped develop will be applied across the country.”
Najarian expressed the hope that the city can append its name to the techniques devised.
“Let’s call it the ‘Glendale Treatment Method’,” he suggested. “Why not?”
It was a sentiment that Steve Zurn, general manager of the GWP, shared.
“We’ll look into it,” he said.