Two multi-year projects to remediate water from the 226-square-mile San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are expected to be completed in mid-2023, according to the projects’ design-build team.

“Just one year after commencing design, we’re excited to see the opening construction activities taking place at the North Hollywood Central Response Action Treatment Facility and Tujunga Well Field Response Action Treatment Facility,” said Mike Watson, senior vice president of Stantec, which is working with Kiewit Corp.

“This is an important step in providing clean, reliable drinking water to the residents and businesses of Los Angeles. I’m very impressed with the efforts of Kiewit, LADWP and our design team to rapidly and safely advance the design of these facilities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The projects, which total $400 million, include pretreatment automatic backwash strainers, 10 ultraviolet advance oxidation process reactors, 54 13,000-gallon granular activated carbon units, 12 miles of pipe, and nearly 250 miles of electrical cable. The goal is to reduce imported water dependence and support utilizing LADWP’s annual water rights by addressing historical groundwater contamination from post-World War II and Cold War-era industrial operations in the area, officials said.

“LADWP’s commitment to taking an accelerated approach to address the groundwater remediation challenges needs to be commended,” said Tony Joyce, vice president of Kiewit. “Using a Progressive Design-Build project delivery approach — developed with LADWP in a collaborative environment — our team is now positioned to successfully deliver this unique project.

“Not only is this an important step in addressing hazardous substance releases and at the same time providing clean, reliable drinking water to the residents and businesses of Los Angeles — but this project and approach provides a great example for other communities that face similar challenges,” Joyce said.

Currently, local groundwater only accounts for 11% of the city’s water supply, but during some drought years it provided for more than 20% of the water supply. Most of the city’s water comes from the Los Angeles Aqueduct from Eastern Sierra snowmelt and the California Aqueduct from water in the Sacrament/San Joaquin River Delta.

When the projects are completed in about two years, the facilities will be able to treat up to 75 million gallons of water per day.

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