California authorities have approved the use of granular activated carbon (GAC) for the removal of perchlorate from ground water. The California Department of Health granted the city of Redlands, Calif., a permit to operate a GAC facility for emergency water supply to remove perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel.

The use of the GAC facility gives Redlands an immediate option for treating ground water from contaminated wells, while investigation continues into other options for perchlorate removal. The wells are essential to meeting the city's water demands during peak times.

Recent scientific research shows the effectiveness of GAC. Research conducted at Penn State University showed that virgin GAC effectively removes perchlorate under conditions present in Redlands. The research was funded by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation through the Perchlorate Research Partnership in cooperation with East Valley Water District and the EPA.