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ADEQ to expand groundwater contamination investigation in Maryvale neighborhood

Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 01:33:40-04

PHOENIX — Just days from now, the state will be taking the next steps in their investigation into concerns of tainted groundwater underneath the Maryvale neighborhood of West Phoenix.

An area near 51st Avenue and Camelback Road was recently added to a registry listing sites that may pose a risk to public health or the environment due to hazardous substances.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was made aware of a new solvent contamination from a gas station owner. The owner found the release while conducting maintenance of an underground storage tank.

On April 4, the ADEQ plans to start the next phase of their investigation.

"They are going to step through a nice systematic investigation to find the full extent of soil and groundwater contamination and whether or not that contamination represents a potential public health risk,” said Dennis Shirley, an Environmental Consultant with Synergy Environmental, LLC.

So far, the ADEQ has drilled four groundwater monitoring wells, taken various types of soil vapor samples, completed a preliminary well inventory and conducted a sensitive population survey.

"That's the first thing you have to do. You have to know how bad the problem is before you can determine the need for any further action,” added Shirley.

Over the next month, ADEQ plans to install two additional ground monitoring wells while collecting even more samples.

ADEQ’s investigation will continue until they have defined the source and specific area of contamination.

The state says the water currently being made available to neighbors in this area is safe. They are now focusing on cleaning up the groundwater for future use.

The state also points out a community advisory board is working with them throughout the entire process.