Eastern Municipal Water District

Action/Info Item

Approve and Authorize the Agreement for Well 59 Wellhead Treatment (ESCA II)


Department:Environmental & Regulatory ComplianceSponsors:
Category:Action/Info ItemMeeting Workflows:Board Planning Committee Workflow


In May 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the Provisional Health Advisory levels (PHAs) for two emerging contaminants; perfluorooctanoic acid, and perfluorooctane sulfonate or termed perfluorinated compounds (PFC).  PHAs are generally not enforced water quality levels, only notification levels.  However, for PFC the EPA has directed water agencies to treat the new PHAs as maximum contaminant levels, or drinking water standards.  Eastern Municipal Water District’s (EMWD) Well 59, located on Indian Avenue in Moreno Valley, exceeded the new PHA levels.  Because of this change, Well 59 was immediately taken out of service.


PFCs are manufacturing compounds used in the production of carpets, furniture fabrics, cookware for fire resistance, and in fire retardant products such as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).  AFFF is used to fight fires by the military and local fire departments.  Well 59 is located southeast of March Air Reserve Base (MARB) and it is suspected that PFC entered the groundwater from the use of AFFF at a historic firefighting training area on the east side of MARB.  The training area is one of the sites in MARB’s Installation Restoration Program (Cleanup Program), and the site has a remediation system already in place to clean up the gasoline/diesel plume in the soils and groundwater.  However, the sampling results indicated that PFC is present to a greater extent than the gasoline/diesel plume in the groundwater.  During this sampling event, PFCs were detected in EMWD’s Well 59, Well 56, and two private wells.  These wells are located down gradient of the contaminated site.  The PFC levels in Well 59 and the two private wells exceeded the new PHA.  The PFC concentrations in Well 56 were significantly below the new PHAs, barely detectable, and therefore Well 56 remains operational.


The Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) has assumed full responsibility for the presence of PFC in the EMWD well and the two private wells.  AFCEC and EMWD have worked together to develop a plan to remedy the impacts from turning off Well 59 and the two private wells.  The plan is to prepare several agreements to cover the impacts.


On February 9, 2017, the Board approved a first agreement between EMWD and the AFCEC, entitled Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement for Response Activities for Off-Base Wells with Perfluorinated Compounds between the AFCEC and EMWD, or ESCA I.  ESCA I provides the funding for EMWD to purchase imported water until Well 59 is equipped with treatment, and also to cover the cost of two water service connection installations as shown in the following table.  ESCA I expires in three years and has a cap of $5.9 million. The cost reimbursement provided under the ESCA I is summarized in the following table.


              Estimated Costs for the Three-Year ESCA I



Year No.





Purchase of 2016 Imported Water (May - Dec)




Connect Residents




Purchase of 2017 Imported Water




Purchase of 2018 Imported Water




Purchase of 2019 Imported Water


Total Cost for Three-Year ESCA 1:



EMWD and the AFCEC have worked collaboratively to develop a second agreement for wellhead treatment for Well 59.  This second agreement will establish reimbursement to EMWD for Well 59 wellhead treatment to remove PFC to levels below the PHAs.  The AFCEC has also requested that EMWD perform a cost comparison between replacing Well 59 and methods of wellhead treatment, an expense to be covered by AFCEC. This analysis is a requirement under the AFCEC Cleanup Program and is called an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA).


This Board action is requesting approval of the second agreement (Exhibit A) entitled: Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement for Response Activities for Off-Base Wells with Perfluorinated Compounds between the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Eastern Municipal Water District, or “ESCA II. ESCA II will fund an EE/CA to compare costs to replace Well 59 at a new location versus installation of wellhead treatment, and will fund the most cost-effective solution.  It is anticipated that the wellhead treatment for Well 59 will be the most economical solution, and the planning cost estimates for wellhead treatment are used in the agreement.  The estimated costs for the preliminary analysis and wellhead treatment are included in the table on the following page. ESCA II will expire in three years and has a $2.7 million cap.

Preliminary Cost Summary for Well 59 Wellhead Treatment Project

Financial/Strat Plan/Enviro


This agreement establishes reimbursement to EMWD for the preliminary analysis and design through construction for Well 59 wellhead treatment.



Water Quality: Ensure all supplies introduced into the District’s distribution systems are of a water quality that protects the health and safety of the community and is in full compliance with all applicable Federal and State standards.



This project is subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a Notice of Exemption will be prepared in conformance with California Code of Regulations Title 14, Chapter 3, Article 7, Section 15080, et seq


Approve and authorize the General Manger, or his designee, to execute the Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement Phase II (ESCA II) with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center for Response Activities of Off-Base Wells with Perfluorinated Compounds.

Meeting History

Jul 18, 2017 3:30 PM  Board Planning Committee Regular Meeting
Jul 19, 2017 9:00 AM  Board of Directors Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Ms. Gage provided a presentation on this item

MOVER:Randy A. Record, Board Member
SECONDER:Joseph J. Kuebler, Board Member
YES:David J. Slawson, Ronald W. Sullivan, Joseph J. Kuebler, Philip E. Paule, Randy A. Record