Cal Water awarded grants for chromium-6 research, treatment in Willows District

The California Water Service Company announced that it has received two State of California grants expected to significantly offset chromium-6 treatment costs to customers in its Willows District.

SAN JOSE, CA, Feb. 10, 2015 -- Last week, the California Water Service Company (Cal Water), the largest subsidiary of California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT), announced that it has received two State of California grants expected to significantly offset chromium-6 treatment costs to customers in its Willows District.

The location serves as one of the company's two districts where the entire water system is impacted by the new chromium-6 regulation. In July 2014, the State of California set the nation's first ever limit on the maximum amount of chromium-6 allowed in drinking water at 0.010 parts per million (see "Agency proposes nation's first standard for hexavalent chrome"). Since that regulation became effective, Cal Water has aggressively pursued options to reduce the expected rate impact to customers to comply with this new standard.

A $5-million grant awarded by the Department of Water Resources through Proposition 50 funding will support a full-scale demonstration of the treatment technique that Cal Water's research team identified as the most cost-effective solution. This treatment technology uses strong-base anion exchange resin to remove chromium-6 from the water. The technology also minimizes the amount of waste generated from the treatment process by recycling a portion of the salt brine regeneration stream.

Together with its research partners, Corona Environmental Consulting and Ionex SG, Cal Water will test brine fractionation, which is the process of dividing the spent brine into different components so that each part can be handled separately.

Cal Water and Water Quality & Treatment Solutions, Inc. (WQTS) received a second grant of $175,000 from the Water Research Foundation for additional research into reducing brine and waste created by chromium-6 treatment even further. Cal Water is working with WQTS to maximize the efficiency of the treatment process through brine reuse (see "WRF completes groundbreaking study exploring hex chrome treatment for CA water supplies").

In another research initiative, Cal Water researched hydraulic loading rates, which has enabled the company to identify the best-performing resin to reduce both overall costs and the size of the treatment facility needed. Cal Water's cutting-edge research is expected to save Willows customers about $380,000 in infrastructure costs and $23,000 in annual operations and maintenance costs.

See also:

"CA sets final drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium by June 2014"

"Contaminants of Concern: Regulatory and Treatment Considerations in Industrial Manufacturing Processes"


About Cal Water

Cal Water serves about 2 million people through 473,100 service connections in California. The company has provided water service in the state since 1926. For more information, visit www.calwater.com.

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