San Juan Capistrano to Dedicate New Reverse Osmosis Treatment Plant

Southwest Water Company is hosting a dedication ceremony for the Reverse Osmosis Groundwater Recovery Plant in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, February 17, 2005, 10:30a.m.

As lead partner with the city on the design-build-finance-operate project, Southwest Water, an ECO Resources subsidiary, is commending the city's progressive approach toward water management.

Speakers at the ceremony will include:

* Orange County Supervisor Tom Wilson;

* A local legislative representative;

* San Juan Capistrano Mayor Wyatt Hart;

* Southwest Water Company Chairman & CEO Anton Garnier;

* Gary Hausdorfer, The Diamond Group, Master of Ceremonies;

* Diana Alston, western regional marketing manager for GE’s new Infrastructure Water & Process Technology Division (formerly Osmonics), which supplied the reverse osmosis membrane system for the project; and

* Spokesperson from well and pipeline construction contractor ARB.

Jack Foley, a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District, where he represents the Municipal Water District of Orange County will be the keynote speaker. Among numerous committee assignments, he serves on the board’s Desalination and Reclamation Committee; Water Planning, Quality and Resources Committee; and the Colorado River Board and Negotiation Team. A key figure in California water and sanitation matters on local, regional and state levels, he is the general manager of the Moulton Niguel Water District. From 1976 to 1979, he was general manager of the Aliso Water Management Agency. In 1986, then-Governor George Deukmejian appointed him to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, which he ultimately chaired for two years.

In July 1993, the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County appointed Foley a trustee on the Southern California Water Committee. In February 1994, he was appointed by then-Governor Pete Wilson to the Bay/Delta Oversight Council. A past president of the Orange County Water Association, he is a member of the American Water Works Association, Colorado River Water Users Association, the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies.


San Juan Capistrano City could be said to "walk on water." Located astride a large aquifer, this huge underground geological formation of sand, rock and gravel acts as an earthen sponge. Water seeps into it from rainfall, nearby waterways, and the ocean. During its travels, this groundwater accumulates salt and other particles, making it brackish and undrinkable.

Gaining momentum as the preferred way to purify this water, M.O. is RO or reverse osmosis, is a treatment concept that is as ingenious as it is simple. The accumulation of 25 years of experience and advances in technology have significantly reduced the cost of constructing and operating RO plants, making them attractive alternatives compared to other treatment options. In California, fewer than a dozen locales in the entire state have reverse osmosis (RO) facilities either operating or approved for construction. This city of 30,000, is now a leader for the United States in a water supply strategy that already dominates in most of the world.

The largest part of the construction expenses was financed through municipal bonds, while the operating costs and plant maintenance to deliver fresh drinking water to the city’s distribution center will come from water bills paid by residents every month. The new facility is the city’s "declaration of independence" from having to buy as much supplemental and more costly water from outside agencies. The groundwater recovery plant will give the city its own safe, sustainable and environmentally sustainable supply of fresh water for generations to come. Its capacity of 5.14 million gallons a day will supply virtually all the water the city needs in winter months and about half its need in the summer.

GE Infrastructure

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