The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Region 9 awarded Cal Water the "Outstanding Water Project" award for its 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) treatment and compliance project at the ASCE Region 9 banquet Friday evening, March 29. The utility previously accepted "Water Project of the Year" awards by ASCE's Los Angeles Section and San Joaquin Branch; Region 9, which encompasses all of California, is one of 10 regions that cover the world.
Before a standard was ever set for TCP, Cal Water began efforts to prepare to treat the water supply in anticipation of an eventual regulation. After the State of California determined in July 2017 that a water quality standard for TCP would be set at 5 parts per trillion, Cal Water needed to install treatment at 36 impacted well sites in its Central Valley districts before the compliance monitoring deadline of January 2018. The timeline gave the utility six months to ensure the drinking water delivered to more than 450,000 people met the new state standard.
The standard became effective in December 2017; however, because the utility had already been actively monitoring its groundwater supplies, researching best available treatment technologies, designing and permitting treatment facilities, and securing equipment suppliers and contractors to construct and install treatment ahead of the regulation being set, Cal Water was able to install granular-activated carbon treatment at 21 well sites with the highest TCP concentrations in Bakersfield, Selma, and Visalia and begin monitoring one month later, by the January 2018 deadline. The remaining 15 impacted well sites were taken offline until treatment was installed by summer 2018. While a significant amount of work needed to be completed simultaneously across many sites spanning three counties, the project still came in under budget and on schedule, according to Martin A. Kropelnicki, President and CEO.
"Protecting our customers' health and safety is our highest priority, so we proactively monitor and respond to changes both in water quality technology and in state and federal standards, to ensure our customers continue to receive safe, high-quality water," Kropelnicki said. "We are pleased to be recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers' statewide region for our efforts to continue providing quality, service, and value to our customers, and I want to congratulate the Cal Water team for its outstanding work on this critical water quality project."