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John Hollenhorst ReportingA clean-up plan has been unveiled for the biggest contamination problem in the history of Utah and one of the biggest ever in the nation.
The project will cost more than 100 million dollars over the next 40 years. The contamination is about 150 feet below in the groundwater aquifer. There's a huge plume of toxic contamination that spreads out under about 50 square miles of the Salt Lake Valley. The source of the contamination is the Kennecott Copper Mining Operation.
Many years ago contaminated water leaked into the ground from unlined reservoirs and evaporation ponds. Now the company uses triple lined reservoirs to prevent further contamination.
The plan now is to drill 14 wells, most of them along 1300 west. They'll pump the water out and clean it with two new treatment plants. The cleaned up water will be used for drinking in South Jordan, West Jordan, Herriman, and Riverton. It will make up nine thousand acre feet of water each year.
Richard Bay, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District: “That will be enough to serve up to 40 thousand people every year.”