New Mexico Water Service celebrates first-of-kind wastewater treatment plant upgrade

New Mexico Water Service Co. hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Rio Del Oro Wastewater Treatment Plant, the first ever to be retrofit with advanced filtration while fully operational. The state-of-the-art plant brings three distinct benefits: a smaller footprint, which benefits neighbors; better quality effluent, which benefits the environment; and lower cost, which benefits customers...

BELEN, NM, July 24, 2006 -- New Mexico Water Service Company, a subsidiary of San Jose-based California Water Service Group, on July 20 hosted a dedication ceremony to commemorate completion of the first wastewater retrofit project of its kind at the company's Rio Del Oro Wastewater Treatment Facility in the Rio Del Oro area between Belen and Los Lunas.

"To our knowledge, nobody has ever retrofitted a wastewater plant with Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) microfiltration technology while keeping the plant fully operational, and we're pleased to report that we did it while meeting all water quality standards for effluent," said General Manager Paul Risso.

The project is significant not only because it is the first of its kind; it also benefits neighbors, customers, and the environment because it increases the plant's treatment capacity and creates a higher quality output without increasing the plant's footprint. Another benefit: the retrofit project is estimated to cost approximately half what it would cost using traditional technology.

New Mexico Water Service Company partnered with Advanced Process Technologies, Enviroquip, Inc., and Kubota to complete the groundbreaking project.

"Now that we have demonstrated that this technology can be installed on a fully operational wastewater plant, other wastewater treatment operations will likely follow our lead. We believe others will see the value in this approach and will want to cut costs, improve wastewater discharge quality, and maintain the smallest footprint possible, as we have here," Risso said.

Elected officials, community leaders, and company partners toured the facility after a dedication ceremony presented by Risso and President and Chief Executive Officer Peter C. Nelson.

More information on the New Mexico Water Service Company can be found at: www.calwatergroup.com/NewMexico.html

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Also see: "California Water Service Group CEO conducts interview with www. wallst.net"

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