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Water Replenishment District approves demolition contract

PICO RIVERA — Work is expected to start here early next year on a $95 million water treatment plant aimed at helping the area store more underground water as opposed to purchasing more expensive water from the Colorado River or the California Delta.

When it starts to operate in 2018, the plant will recycle about 10,000 acre feet of water a year and dump it into the adjoining San Gabriel River to percolate down into area aquifers of the Central and Western Basins, said Rob Whittaker, general manager of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. An acre foot is about 300,300 gallons.

The water district board Nov. 19 contracted with American Wrecking, the lowest bidder meeting requirements at up to $807,600, to demolish three buildings on the 5.2-acre site on San Gabriel River Parkway here. Total cost, with administration and a 10 percent contingency fund, is $888,360, Whitaker said.

Demolition is expected to take up to 90 days.

The water district purchased the site in August from Pacific Waste Management.

The treatment plant is part of the district’s Groundwater Reliability Improvement Project to make the area self-sufficient in water usage.

In a related move, the district board contracted with Rincon Consultants, based in Ventura, to advise on environmental services during demolition for a fee up to $148,075, plus a 10 percent contingency, with total cost not to exceed $162,883.

As part of its operating capital, the board Nov. 19 approved the issuance of up to $200 million in revenue bonds at 5.5 percent. The $200 million pays off two existing bond issues with larger interest rates, thus saving money, and provides new operating funds, Finance Director Scott Otta said.

The Water Replenishment District was established in 1959 and charged with monitoring the water pumped from the Central and Western Basins by private and municipal providers to four million people in 43 cities covering 420 square miles in Southern Los Angeles County.

Providers are assessed $283 per acre foot of water they pump. The money goes to purchase fresh water to spread along the Montebello Forebay between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers to replace the water removed.