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Chromium-6 Removal Facilities Go Online in California

The Indio Water Authority decided to opt for strong base ion exchange technology, which uses filters and tanks filled with resin beads coated with chloride that attracts the chromium-6 and removes it from the water.

One of Indio's completed chromium-6 removal facilities.

The project went from concept to operational in just six months.

(PALM DESERT, CA - August 3, 2015) – Indio Water Authority (IWA) began operating three chromium-6 removal systems, consisting of strong base anion exchange, in July 2015.

IWA selected Hazen and Sawyer as its engineer to design and Borden Excavating Company to construct chromium-6 treatment systems with equipment supplied by Ionex SG LLC.

IWA, like many others across the Coachella Valley and in California, is taking steps to comply with the safe drinking water limit the California Division of Drinking Water set for hexavalent chromium, better known as chromium-6. All of IWA’s supply is drawn from local groundwater wells, some of which have water with elevated naturally occurring chromium-6.

The treatment units allow IWA to meet peak summer demands with water that meets all state and federal standards. The water supply from these wells is extremely important, especially given statewide supply shortages calling for use of less imported water.

“The project has gone from concept to operational in six short months. Whether it was the technical memorandum that allowed us to secure the treatment equipment in less than four weeks, the bidding documents six weeks later, or the ten week construction period; every deadline was met to enable IWA to maintain its aggressive compliance schedule,” said Brian Macy, General Manager of the Indio Water Authority.

Hazen and Sawyer is also working with nearby Coachella Valley Water District for chromium-6 treatment at 30 sites, including a central resin regeneration facility. The Coachella Valley Water District has completed preliminary design for these facilities and will soon be selecting a contractor using a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) delivery approach. The Coachella Water Authority recently completed compliance planning and is seeking funding assistance, as a disadvantaged community, to enable construction of the facilities. Both of these systems are anticipated to be online and providing water by June 2019.

Since our founding in 1951, Hazen and Sawyer has focused on two things: providing safe drinking water and controlling water pollution. Our range of services encompasses “all things water” including the planning, design, and construction management of water and wastewater-related projects – from clean water treatment, storage, and distribution to wastewater and stormwater collection, treatment, and reuse.