Bonds sold for $25-million water treatment plant project for Capistrano Valley Water District

Southwest Water Co. announced accomplishment of an important milestone in its project to design and construct a $25-million reverse osmosis water treatment facility in San Juan Capistrano, California.

WEST COVINA, Calif., Jan. 14, 2003 -- Southwest Water Co. announced accomplishment of an important milestone in its project to design and construct a $25-million reverse osmosis water treatment facility in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Funding for the project is assured with completion on January 8, 2003 of the sale of tax-exempt, AAA-rated bonds, underwritten by Lehman Brothers and issued by the San Juan Basin Authority. ECO Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Southwest Water, will serve as the general manager for the project under a contract with the Capistrano Valley Water District.

Upon the project's completion, scheduled for late 2004, ECO Resources will operate the facility under a 20-year, $20-million contract.

The treatment plant is designed to use local groundwater to produce over 5 million gallons per day of drinking water, or 4,800 acre feet per year, approximately half of the city's total water needs. In addition to construction of the facility, the project includes drilling eight new wells and installing pumping equipment and underground pipelines.
The project will enable the Capistrano Valley Water District to take advantage of financial incentives offered by the Groundwater Replenishment Program sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. That Program is designed to reduce municipal water agencies' dependence on water from such sources as the Colorado River.

Anton C. Garnier, Southwest Water president and chief executive officer, said, "We are pleased to have cleared the necessary financial hurdles to allow this important project to go forward. The decision of the Capistrano Valley Water District and the City of San Juan Capistrano to construct the water treatment facility is a real testament to their foresight and their desire to ensure the continued availability of affordable, high-quality water for the citizens of San Juan Capistrano. While the plant will be the first of its kind in south Orange County, we can envision similar projects to provide potable water in an environmentally responsible manner."

ECO Resources' partners on the project include Boyle Engineering of Newport Beach, Calif., which is providing engineering services, and ARB, Inc. of Lake Forest, Calif., which is the construction contractor. Osmonics, Inc. of Minnetonka, Minn., will supply the reverse osmosis equipment.

Southwest Water Company provides a broad range of services, including water production, treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, public works services, utility submetering and construction management. The company owns regulated public utilities and also serves cities, utility districts and private companies under contract. More than 2 million people in 31 states from coast to coast depend on Southwest Water for high-quality, reliable service.

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