Brine Disposal and the Santa Clarita Sanitation District are cooperating to establish a plan to reduce the amount of chloride in the Santa Clara River. Many local residents, however, object to the plan.
The aim is to adopt a new, effective method of disposing waste. In the past, the sewage from all of Santa Clarita Valley was treated at two sanitation plants and then dumped into the Santa Clara River. Yet farmers complained that the water was damaging their crops due to high chloride levels. As a result, the state of California ruled that the Santa Clarita Valley needed to find a new method.
The plan involves drilling a one-to-two mile deep well injection site between the communities of Stevenson Ranch and Westridge, so that sewage can be buried underground. After considering multiple methods, the sanitation district and the city decided to adopt the deep well injection plan due to its relatively low price and high effectivity. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the deep well injection is “a safe and inexpensive option for the disposal of unwanted and often hazardous industrial byproducts.”
Many residents of Stevenson Ranch and Westridge, however, disagree with the sanitation district’s plan.
“At first glance, the well seems like a good idea, but in a few years, the sewage in the ground can pollute fresh groundwater,” Stevenson Ranch homeowner Clark Leadbetter commented to JSR.
“I don’t want to live above a ‘hole,’ and putting waste in it further aggravates the situation,” West Ranch High School freshmen Luna Lee said to JSR.
In addition to causing pollution, the deep well injection could also trigger seismic activity. This possibility has fueled further objection to the deep well injection plan.
According to USGS.gov, “wastewater injection increases the underground pore pressure, which may, in effect, lubricate nearby faults thereby weakening them. If the pore pressure increases enough, the weakened fault will slip, releasing stored tectonic stress in the form of an earthquake.”
Whether or not the plan for the deep well injection proceeds, concerned residents will continue their efforts in preventing the passing of the new sanitation plan.