City Moves To Clean Bad Water
Albuquerque Journal (December 31, 2002)

City environmental workers are moving forward with a plan to clean up contaminated ground water at Los Angeles landfill near Balloon Fiesta Park.

The contamination is moving toward public and private wells.

"We're anxious to get the remediation system up and running," said Mary Lou Leonard, manager of the city's Environmental Services Division.

Mayor Martin Ch¿z earlier this year proposed a $240,000 agreement with Hydro Geo Chem Inc. -- a Tucson-based company -- to design and oversee construction of the cleanup system. City councilors approved the proposal at a recent meeting.

Los Angeles landfill was in operation from 1978 to 1983. It is now used for RV parking during the Balloon Fiesta.

Solvents from the landfill have contaminated ground water in the area, but no drinking-water wells are within at least a mile of the site, said Douglas Earp, a city geohydrologist.

The city wants to build soil-vapor-extraction wells that will collect contaminated gas and burn it off.

South of the landfill, on property of the Public Service Co. of New Mexico, city officials plan to build three wells that will pump out contaminated water. It would then be treated and re-injected into the aquifer.

Construction could begin in early 2004. The ground-water wells would likely be in service 10 to 20 years. The vapor-extraction system would be there an undetermined amount of time, Earp said.

About $1.5 million in solid-waste-management bonds is available to pay for the project.

Construction of the cleanup system is estimated at $605,000. Annual operating and maintenance costs could reach $400,000.

The proposed agreement with Hydro Geo Chem would become part of an existing $200,000 contract, which called for the company to evaluate the city's options to clean up the landfill.


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