Chemical Injections Used To Clean Up Polluted Phoenix Site

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Monday, July 2, 2018 - 10:47am
Updated: Monday, July 2, 2018 - 10:56am

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.04 MB)

A map showing the area of a groundwater plume underneath 35th and 38th streets and Indian School Road and East Piccadilly Road.
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
A map showing the area of a groundwater plume underneath 35th and 38th streets and Indian School Road and East Piccadilly Road in Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality says a contaminated site in Phoenix has been cleaned up.

About 20 years ago, tetrachloroethene, a chemical commonly used in dry cleaning, polluted groundwater underneath 35th and 38th streets from Indian School Road to Piccadilly Road in Phoenix.

Exposure to the chemical can irritate the upper re upper respiratory tract and eyes or lead to kidney dysfunction and serious neurological effects like mood and behavioral changes, coordination impairment, dizziness, headache, sleepiness, and unconsciousness. According to the EPA, long term exposure has even been linked to several types of cancer.

Officials say the soil in the area has been clean since 2003, but tests showed the harmful chemical was still in the groundwater.

AZDEQ injected the groundwater to dilute the chemical concentration using chemical oxidation injection technology, which is commonly used to destroy chemicals that are resistant to natural decay.  

If you like this story, Donate Now!

Like Arizona Science Desk on Facebook