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LEMOORE — “This is life-changing for the City of Lemoore,” said Lemoore Utilities Manager John Souza.

City officials gathered Thursday afternoon in Lemoore to break ground on construction of a new groundwater treatment plant project. The plant is located at 18th and W. Glendale avenues.

The City obtains all of its drinking water from local groundwater resources that are challenged by naturally-occurring water quality issues. These issues include elevated levels of arsenic, iron, ammonia, total organic carbon and color, City official wrote in a release. The City has been tempering these TOC impurities with high doses of chlorine, a costly method that produces byproducts.

Started four years ago, the current work has resulted in the development of an innovative process to treat Lemoore’s water quality issues. Due to the modular nature of the process, separate wellhead treatment plants will be installed at two of the City’s reservoir locations rather than constructing a centralized plant, the release stated.

The new treatment plants, being constructed on an expedited basis, are said to “significantly improve the quality and reliability of the drinking water supply” with “lower operating costs” according to the release.

Completion is scheduled for mid to late 2020.

“We want a solution that won’t break the bank of the people of Lemoore,” City Manager Nathan Olson said, addressing the crowd.

The technology utilized will give the city of Lemoore “bottled water” quality of odorless, colorless water right out of the tap, he said.

“All the jokes you hear about our water at church on Sunday mornings, those will have to go away. They’re going to have to get a new line,” Olson added, eliciting chuckles from the crowd. 

The project’s operating costs will be 60 cents per 1,000 gallons, a number so low that Olson called it “unheard of.”

The city manager also remarked that he’d like to other cities with water treatment issues to adopt similar projects and technologies to bring “high-quality water and low-cost solutions to their communities.”

Representatives from the offices of Congressman TJ Cox and Assemblymember Rudy Salas attended the groundbreaking.

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Contact the reporter at pbowman@hanfordsentinel.com

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