Water District Hires Basin Water

The East Valley Water District of San Bernardino County, Calif., awarded a new contract to Basin Water, Inc. for simultaneous removal of both uranium and nitrate at the District's Well #40.

Under the agreement, Basin Water will provide its patented ion exchange technology along with installation, commissioning, system start-up, training of district staff, and residual management services.

According to Orlando Carreño, vice president, West Region of Basin Water, the new contract highlights the company's focus on offering versatile drinking water solutions that enable customers to maximize existing resources. "Efficient groundwater treatment is a crucial aspect of drinking water supply in many communities, particularly in this region. When groundwater contaminants interfere with that supply, water authorities often face difficult choices – including taking existing wells out of service," Carreño said. "By providing reliable, flexible systems that are custom-designed to each site, offer low life-cycle costs, and fit within a minimal footprint, Basin Water can help communities quickly increase supply by utilizing resources already in place," he added.

The new system represents the third technology+services agreement between the two parties.

Designed to deliver 2 million gallons of water a day, the treatment system is slated for installation in June and to come online by summer's end. The district will perform operations once the facility is online; Basin Water will provide maintenance and residual handling services.

Uranium is a radioactive metal that occurs naturally in groundwater due to leaching of the element from geological formations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 30 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) for uranium in drinking water, and the state of California has set a standard of 20 pCi/L.

Nitrate is a byproduct of fertilizers, septic systems, and groundwater recharge, and thus migrates easily into drinking water supplies. EPA has set the MCL for nitrate at 45 parts per million (ppm). It is estimated that approximately 8,200 groundwater wells nationally exceed the federal MCL for nitrate.

Groundwater to be treated at East Valley Water District's Well #40 currently contains 50-60 ppm of nitrate and uranium levels of 25-30 pCi/l. The new system will guarantee effluent levels below 35 ppm for nitrate and less than 15 pCi/l uranium. The facility will house two treatment trains for the separate contaminants, with nitrate removal occurring upstream of the uranium removal process. The entire installation will fit on a small concrete pad to be built on site by the district.

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