LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Metropolitan Board of Directors today authorized construction of $140.4 million of new ozone facilities at the district’s oldest treatment plant, a project that will help boost the regional and state’s economy, add up to 1,200 jobs during construction while enhancing Southern California’s drinking water quality.
The new facilities will use ozone to replace chlorine as the primary disinfectant at Metropolitan’s F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in La Verne.
“One of Metropolitan’s primary responsibilities is to provide high-quality water within its six-county service area and to fully meet current and future drinking water quality standards,” said Metropolitan board Chairman John V. Foley. “Nearly 20 years ago, we identified ozone disinfection as a more effective treatment process. Today’s action is another significant step in our comprehensive plan to convert all five Metropolitan treatment plants to ozone technology.”
Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger called ozone treatment the most beneficial and cost-effective way to improve and protect the quality of drinking water served to 19 million Southern Californians.
“This important project will be a shot in the arm to Southern California’s economy,” Kightlinger said, noting that construction is scheduled to run through 2016. “The much needed jobs created by this water-improvement project are significant.”
Completed in 1940 as part of the original construction of Metropolitan’s 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct, the Weymouth plant is the last of the district’s five treatment facilities to undergo the ozone retrofit. Metropolitan’s Henry J. Mills plant in Riverside was the first to convert to ozone in 2003, followed by the Joseph Jensen plant in Granada Hills in 2005 and the Robert A. Skinner plant in Riverside County in 2010. The ozone conversion at Metropolitan’s Robert B. Diemer plant in Yorba Linda is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
Along with Metropolitan’s other plants, the Weymouth plant is among the largest water filtration facilities in the nation. The plant treats a blend of waters from the district’s Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project for the central area of Metropolitan’s distribution system in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Renowned for its Mission Revival style architecture, blue-tiled bell tower and graceful arches, the plant treats and delivers up to 520 million gallons per day, enough water to fill the Rose Bowl every four hours.
Under today’s board action, Metropolitan will construct the initial phase of facilities at Weymouth, with a capacity to treat 260 million gallons a day with ozone, and up to 345 million gallons per day under certain conditions. The phasing of the ozone processes will allow the district to expand the plant’s ozone treatment capabilities in the future.
Metropolitan initiated the changeover to ozone treatment in 1994 to comply with anticipated federal regulations and to offer a greater margin of safety in its imported supplies. A colorless gas, ozone has been used as a water disinfectant in Europe and parts of the United States for more than a century. During treatment, ozone is gently bubbled through water to disinfect supplies, with unused ozone converted back to oxygen before being returned to nature.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties.The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.