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Jordan Valley groundwater treatment permit up for public review

Published May 14, 2013 3:34 pm

Public comment • Plan aims to remove, treat water tainted by historical mining.
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The Utah Division of Water Quality has completed an in-depth, multi-year review of the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District plan to clean up contaminated groundwater in southwest Salt Lake County and is asking the public to weigh in on the proposed permit.

The Jordan Valley Southwest Groundwater Treatment Plant has worked for years on its plans to remove and treat groundwater tainted by historic mining in the southwestern Salt Lake Valley

The division is poised to sign off on those plans now that there are standards on the Great Salt Lake for selenium and mercury that could be generated by the groundwater treatment and that caused public concern when a permit was first proposed a few years ago.

The division is taking comments from the public for 45 days, May 15 through June 28. It will host a public information meeting and hearing, 6 p.m., June 17, in the Department of Environmental Quality Board Room, 195 N. 1950 West, Salt Lake City.

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, which operates the $24 million water treatment plant, removes contaminants largely comprised of dissolved salts and trace amounts of metals. The water treatment byproducts travel through a 21-mile pipeline into the Great Salt Lake, while the plant furnishes up to 14 million gallons of drinking water per day for Salt Lake County residents.

"Limits in the permit, the most extensive of any we have ever issued, are calculated to protect the wildlife and aquatic life dependent on the Great Salt Lake ecosystem," said Walt Baker, director of water quality. "In addition, water treatment at the Southwest Groundwater Treatment Plant benefits the valley's water quality by preventing the further migration of contaminated groundwater."

Written comments can be submitted to: Kim Shelley, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4870 or by email at kshelley@utah.gov.

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