Read the latest update to NASA's groundwater cleanup project Community Involvement Plan.
Welcome to the NASA Groundwater Cleanup Program Web site for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), created in conjunction with NASA's cleanup responsibilities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), sometimes referred to as "Superfund." This site provides community members and interested parties convenient access to information associated with CERCLA environmental cleanup activities at JPL.
This website is intended to provide visitors with the latest news about NASA cleanup activities, the ability to search and retrieve documents from the Information Repository database, including groundwater monitoring and other reports and articles related to the groundwater cleanup, and the ability to contact Program Managers for additional information.
NASA is committed to its cleanup responsibilities at JPL and to keeping the public informed about its activities. We encourage you to sign up on our mailing list, as well as submit questions or comments via the feedback button.
News Updates NASA Groundwater Cleanup Program Continues to Make Progress
It was another year of progress for the NASA Groundwater Cleanup Program at JPL. For a summary of the accomplishments and progress made over the course of 2012, please read the 2012 Year in Review.
Click here to read the Mid-year 2012 Groundwater Cleanup Update that describes the latest cleanup activities.
5-Year Review -- NASA, in conjunction with the U.S. EPA, has conducted a five-year review of environmental cleanup remedies initiated at the JPL site. Click here to read a fact sheet summarizing that review, and click here to read the complete five-year review. Click here to read the concurence letter from the EPA.
2011 Year in Review -- It was another year of progress for the NASA Groundwater Cleanup Program at JPL . For a summary of the accomplishments and progress made over the course of 2011, please read the 2011 Year in Review .
December 2011 Newsletter is now available
Click here to view the December 2011 Newsletter concerning NASA's progress in its effort to remove chemicals in the groundwater beneath and adjacent to JPL. This update is another way NASA is taking steps to communicate with the community about the Groundwater Cleanup Program.
New Pasadena Treatment Plant is Up and Running -- The NASA-funded Monk Hill Treatment System (MHTS) is operational and is removing perchlorate and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from groundwater near four previously closed and now upgraded water production wells in Pasadena. The City-owned treatment plant, built on property adjacent to Pasadena’s Windsor Reservoir, was officially dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 20, 2011.
With its completion and with a California Department of Public Health (DPH) drinking water permit issued on March 17, 2011, Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) has again begun serving clean water to its customers from the wells.
The wells -- Arroyo Well, Well 52, Ventura Well, and Windsor Well -- tap an aquifer beneath the Hahamongna Watershed Park in the Arroyo Seco. Pasadena closed the wells between 1985 and 1990 when elevated levels of VOCs were discovered in nearby groundwater. In 1990, a NASA-funded closed aeration carbon filter treatment system was installed to remove VOCs from the groundwater. Between 1997 and 2002, when perchlorate in the water was detected for the first time at elevated concentrations, the wells were closed again.
PWP and NASA collaboratively oversaw the design and construction of the new system to remove perchlorate and VOCs from water drawn by these four wells so that the City could apply to the state to reopen the wells. As part of the MHTS, the four wells were also upgraded to improve their overall infrastructure and their ability to extract groundwater for treatment at the new plant. NASA assisted PWP in preparing for a February 24, 2011 DPH public hearing on DPH’s then-proposed decision to allow PWP to serve drinking water from the four wells, and three weeks later, the permit was issued.
Click here for a complete fact sheet on the MHTS. The fact sheet was prepared during the treatment plant's construction phase.
Monk Hill Treatment System is Clean and Green -- NASA worked closely with Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) and solicited involvement with Windsor Reservoir neighbors in the design and construction of a treatment system that is as environmentally sound and as energy-efficient as possible. In the months leading up to the start of construction, NASA sought public input on landscaping elements that would assist in having the plant better blend into the residential area. Suggestions made by members of the public were incorporated into the final design and landscaping. Additionally, to conserve water resources, the finished site is now landscaped with native, drought-tolerant plant species. In the Arroyo Seco, NASA designed upgrades to the four previously closed wells, including their connection to modified pipelines and new high-efficiency pumps. This improves energy efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 123 metric tons per year, equivalent to the annual GHG of 23 passenger vehicles. NASA also suggested and evaluated the use of solar energy for the project. The City followed through by installing more than 50,000 square feet of silicon photovoltaic panels on the Windsor Reservoir. The Windsor Solar Project, which went online at the end of May 2011, should offset more than 20 percent of the electricity consumed by the treatment plant, PWP officials said. More than 95 percent of the plant’s construction waste materials were recycled, including 744 tons of rock, 48 tons of concrete, 3,144 tons of soil, eight tons of steel, and five tons of mixed debris.
Other NASA Green Initiatives
NASA pursues green initiatives at its Centers across the country. Read about NASA's green initiatives for water cleanup at JPL here and see what some of the other Centers are doing, too.