Bureau of Reclamation Announces $287,225 of Economic Recovery Funding to Upgrade the Potable Water Treatment System at New Melones Powerplant in California

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: January 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has awarded a $227,225 contract award to replace the potable water treatment system at the New Melones Powerplant (Powerplant) in California.  Part of the New Melones Unit of the Central Valley Project, the Powerplant is located on the Stanislaus River, about 60 miles upstream from its confluence with the San Joaquin River, and 40 miles east of Stockton.  

The water used at the Powerplant comes from New Melones Lake, is untreated water, and the Powerplant's aging chlorine gas disinfection and potable water treatment system is no longer operational.  The new system will meet health and safety standards in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and State of California requirements.  Lasater Construction Co., Encinitas, Calif. was awarded the contract.

The work includes removal of the chlorine gas system, sand filtration system, piping, appurtenances, and associated electrical components; furnishing and installation of power and instrumentation cable, grounding, conduits, a circuit breaker, and a new ultra-filtration unit complete with pre-treatment and disinfection systems, and associated electrical and piping components. 

"The ARRA funds will bring the potable water treatment system at the New Melones Powerplant up to par with Federal and State of California health and safety standards", said Michael Connor, Reclamation commissioner.  "The new water treatment system will provide drinkable water for Reclamation employees and visitors of the Powerplant."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.  

The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century.  Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.