On Wednesday, July 6, Pasadena Water and Power brought a new water treatment plant online, reviving a local groundwater source that had not been used since 2002.
The Monk Hill Treatment Plant at 2696 Windsor Ave. near the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is designed to treat up to 7,000 gallons of groundwater per minute, removing perchlorate and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to meet all regulatory standards for safe drinking water.
Perchlorate is an oxidizer used in rocket propellants; VOCs were once used as industrial cleaning solvents. These chemicals leeched into the Monk Hill Sub-basin of the Raymond Basin aquifer subsequent to waste disposal practices at JPL decades ago.
The city of Pasadena worked closely with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), owner of JPL, on design of the state-of-the-art treatment plant, site selection, public outreach and environmental and public health review processes. NASA funded construction and operating costs; the city of Pasadena leases and operates the plant.
Support for the project was also provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
The CDPH led the public health review process, which consisted of evaluating the quality of the treated water, a public review, comment period and a public hearing, and issued a permit to serve water from the Monk Hill Treatment Plant on March 17th this year.
â€œOn behalf of the city of Pasadena, I want to thank all the agencies that came together to realize this project,â€ said Pasadena Water and Power General Manager Phyllis Currie. â€œAnd I especially want to thank the many citizens who came to neighborhood meetings from the earliest days of this project, submitted comments and questions along the way and participated in the final public health review process. Your diligence is a testament to the vital importance of water to our community.â€
â€œNASA made a commitment to the city to clean up the chemicals in the groundwater from JPL, said NASA Groundwater Cleanup Manager Steve Slaten. â€œThis new treatment plant achieves that result and we are pleased to have lived up to our commitment.â€
For more information about the Monk Hill Treatment Plant and groundwater cleanup near JPL, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/monkhill or call 626-744-4409.