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Arsenic in odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth. In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted a new law reducing the maximum allowable level of arsenic in drinking water by 80 percent by January 2006. A significant portion of the Antelope Valley's water supply comes from deep wells that contain higher levels of arsenic. Technology from the oil drilling industry was used to abandon and seal off the deep portion of the wells using an inflatable packer to inject microfine cement. Well screens were cleaned and treated to allow high quality shallow water to easily flow into the well. Water quality samples were collected and analyzed and the wells were replaced with new pumps and motors. This successful project resulted in a decrease in arsenic levels of up to 85 percent for a total cost of 608,580. The project's estimated one-time cost avoidance is about 33.6 million with an annual cost avoidance of 2 million.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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