/ Modified sep 29, 2017 5:10 p.m.

Carcinogens Decreasing in Water at Tucson Superfund Site

Time and new methods are cleaning up groundwater, scientists said.

Water pollution is dropping at the Tucson International Airport Superfund Site, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 2002, the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane was discovered in wells near the superfund site.

Fifteen years of monitoring shows the levels of the compound have dropped.

Scientists say the decrease is due to two things: time and better safeguards to keep the chemical out of area groundwater.

“The Air Force Plant 44, down at Raytheon, instituted a new cleanup procedure at their water treatment facility, and that new treatment facility started to destroy the 1,4-dioxane around 2009,” said Fred Tilman with USGS.

Though the contaminant is found in wells near the airport, it is not making it into the drinking water supplied by Tucson Water.

“They remove all of the contaminants from the groundwater, both the 1,4-dioxane we are talking about, as well as other compounds that might be there. And that is the water that is distributed throughout this area as well as other parts of Tucson,” said Tilman.

A number of agencies monitor 63 wells near Tucson International for 1,4 dioxane and other contaminants.

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