California Water ServiceEarlier this week, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) announced that Baron & Budd client, California Water Service (Cal Water), has won a NAWC Management Innovation Award for its approach to treating water contaminated by soil fumigants containing 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP). On Oct. 9th, the 2018 NAWC Water Summit in San Antonio formally recognized Cal Water.

TCP has been found to be highly toxic in drinking water. Through animal studies, researchers have concluded that TCP is a potent carcinogen. Concern over TCP’s toxicity led the State of California to adopt a Public Health Goal (PHG) for TCP of 0.7 parts per trillion (5 ppt), one of the lowest PHGs ever set. In 2017, California went a step further and adopted a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 5 ppt for TCP.

On November 2017, Baron & Budd secured settlements from Dow and Shell, which each manufactured soil fumigants that contained TCP.  Cal Water used the settlement funds secured by Baron & Budd to purchase a granular-activated carbon treatment system to address the TCP contamination and comply with State regulation. This treatment system was concurrently installed at 21 Cal Water sites with the highest TCP concentrations beginning in 2017 and was then extended to all Cal Water sites in 2018. The settlement funds enabled Cal Water to make these sweeping changes without increasing customers’ water rates.

“We were extremely pleased with the result of the settlements we were able to secure on behalf of Cal Water, as well as Cal Water’s ability to rapidly put those dollars to work to protect their customers,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Scott Summy.

In addition to the award for its approach to treating TCP contaminated water, Cal Water was also recognized for its innovative sample tap adapter kit. The kit has helped to eliminate non-representative water samples, saving the utility thousands of dollars related to additional sample collection, testing and customer notifications.