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Pasadena Unveils State-of-the-Art Water Treatment Plant

Published on Friday, March 29, 2024 | 6:30 am

The Pasadena Department of Water and Power celebrated a milestone on Thursday with the dedication of the new Wadsworth Treatment Facility, a state-of-the-art water treatment plant designed to enhance the reliability, safety, and quality of the city’s water supply.

“It’s all about water,” said Mayor Victor Gordo, standing in front of six 22-foot-tall vessels filled with granular activated carbon to remove volatile organic compounds from local groundwater. “Here in Pasadena we have traditionally been a leader in water conservation. This is an important step forward.”

Gordo was flanked by City Manager Miguel Márquez, Interim Department of Water and Power Manager David Reyes, Councilmember Felicia Williams, and representatives of state and local elected officials gathered for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility. 

The event showcased the Department of Water and Power’s commitment to addressing groundwater contamination and ensuring safer drinking water for Pasadena residents.

The Wadsworth Treatment Facility, named after Hiram W. Wadsworth, a key figure in the development of Southern California’s water infrastructure, cleans local groundwater collected by three wells. 

The plant features a 16-foot-tall steel tank for backwash water, a sodium hypochlorite disinfection system, an emergency generator, and high-tech instrumentation, controls, and security. With a total capacity of 3,000 gallons per minute, the facility can treat the same amount of water that approximately 15,000 families use in a year.

“Today is significant because it showcases the Department of Water and Power’s commitment to enhancing the reliability, safety, and quality of the water supply in Pasadena by addressing groundwater contamination,” said Kellee O’Rourke, Department of Water and Power spokesperson. “It represents a pivotal step in local environmental management and public health.”

The facility employs advanced treatment technologies, including granular activated carbon and a disinfection system backed by renewable energy sources such as solar panels. 

“The facility also helps bring more reliability and resiliency to the water supply system, in addition to PWP’s imported water supplies,” said O’Rourke, “by allowing for the use of local groundwater sources that would otherwise be unavailable due to contamination.

A new concrete masonry wall and advanced security system protect the facility, and the latest instrumentation and controls ensure hi-tech local and remote access, according to PWP.

Pasadena was one of the first five cities to form the Metropolitan Water District, a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provides water for 19 million people in six counties. 

The Wadsworth Treatment Facility project was identified in the Department of Water and Power’s Water System and Resources Plan, which serves as a roadmap for long-term capital and water resource planning, prioritizing improvements and projects through 2045.

Construction of the facility was originally slated to begin in June 2022, with an aim for completion by summer 2023. The project was delivered on budget and on schedule, further underscoring the Department of Water and Power’s commitment to improving Pasadena’s water infrastructure, officials said.

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