Seeing trucks and drilling equipment, like those that are on Prospect Avenue and Sunset Street this week, have been commonplace around Crescenta Valley since the discovery of MTBE in well seven in August of last year. At that time Crescenta Valley Water District shut down well seven and began working with the Regional Water Board, Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Health to identify, contain and clean MTBE from the water system.
In the early 1990s the chemical compound, MTBE, was used as a fuel additive in gasoline. In 2003, the state of California was the first to discontinue the use of MTBE. Since then it has been found in ground water throughout California due primarily to the leaking of underground service station tanks.
All service stations on Foothill Boulevard in the area have been going through a series of explorations to find the true source of the contamination. Recently the Union 76 station on Foothill Boulevard and Briggs Avenue was closed down as more research continued.