A water treatment plant in Tucson is replacing more than 56 tons of activated carbon to address newly-discovered perfluorinated compound contamination from the nearby Superfund site. “The fact that we have a treatment plant there at all is entirely driven by the Superfund site,” said Tim Thomure, director of Tucson Water.
The 10-square-mile Tucson International Airport site was designed as a Superfund in 1983. Superfund sites are considered some of the most contaminated places in the county. The water treatment plant was set up 11 years later to address the groundwater contamination. “The main process that we use is designed to remove TCE and 1,4 dioxane,” Thomure said. But with the recent discovery of perfluorinated compound contamination, the plant decided updates were needed to have specific management of perfluorinated compounds and other carcinogenic contaminants.