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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $715,300 to the Contra Costa Water District to identify treatment technologies to improve the quality of Delta water.
The EPA's regional administrator, Wayne Nastri, presented the grant to the district's board president, Joseph L. Campbell, at a ceremony at the Bollman Water Treatment Plant in Concord.
"We look forward to enhancing drinking water quality for the Contra Costa Water District and other agencies," said Nastri. "This project will benefit the 20 million Californians who received Delta water at their tap."
Together, the EPA and the Contra Costa Water District are working with the American Water Works Association Research Foundation and several Bay Area utilities to further improve water treatment and decrease risks to public health. The total funding for the project is approximately $1.5 million.
Campbell said the project is "a good example of how the Contra Costa Water District continues to be at the forefront of water treatment technology and public health protection. In addition, by obtaining this significant grant, the district is protecting its ratepayers by ensuring that the cost of this important research does not affect rates."
Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D) praised the district, saying, "Contra Costa Water District continues to lead the way in ensuring high water quality standards for their customers. The district's commitment to develop advanced technology to benefit the public is commendable."
The project is designed to come up with new solutions for drinking water utilities that struggle to find ways to treat brackish, or salty, water. The research findings will also help utilities in other parts of the country, such as the Chesapeake Bay and Tampa Bay, with similar treatment concerns.