Town Council on December 8 approved an agreement with Jacobs Engineering Group to develop a project to allow one of its essential wells to be safely used during peak demand times.
The Little Pete well was one of four in the Town found in July 2022 to have detectable levels of PFAS chemicals. After additional investigation, PFAS chemicals were also found in the Town’s treated wastewater effluent.
Although there are currently no regulatory limits for PFAS chemicals, it is the Town’s stated desire to not use the four wells until regulatory limits are established (or only in case of emergency). It is hoped the US Environmental Protection Agency may have draft limits published early this year, although fully adopted limits are not expected for several years.
Council approved the agreement with Jacobs to provide design services and develop a project that will allow the Little Pete well to be used and meet water demands during the peak season (generally from late April through July). Project design would likely include installing some form of treatment (ion exchange or granular activated carbon), blending with other sources, or a combination of the two. Services provided would also include conceptual studies/design for a second water production well and a groundwater injection well that the Town currently has under design.
Jacobs’ goal will be to design a modular and containerized system so pieces could be relocated in the future to other well locations should future regulatory limits be less stringent than anticipated.
The agreement (including Scope of Services and proposed compensation) has been prepared to be extra flexible to allow the project to move forward quickly under potentially changing conditions.
It is anticipated that about $85,000 will be needed for the preliminary studies and conceptual designs to allow the Town to prepare and submit applications to the Arizona Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) for loan assistance.
Also included in the Agreement is approximately $122,000 for additional work including design up to about 30 percent of the project or projects. It is anticipated that an amendment to the Agreement will ultimately be needed to finish the design once the actual project or projects are better defined.
The total value of the proposed Agreement with Jacobs is $206,575 and was approved based on applicable state law and Town Code provisions.