The Meaning of Hahamongna

The original settlers of the region were sometimes called the Hahamongna Indians. The word means "Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley" in the native Tongva language.

Hahamongna News


Cleanup of ground water starts at JPL





Robert Chacon


Glendale News-Press


NASA has begun groundwater cleanup at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, though none of the contaminated water on the campus is used as drinking water for residents in La Canada Flintridge.

NASA is constructing a treatment plant on the campus that will clean groundwater contaminated with chemicals decades ago when rockets were tested at the laboratory. The largest concentration of chemicals is in about eight acres at the center of the campus.

Because the land on that part of the campus slopes east toward Altadena, none of the contaminants flow into local wells, said Anthony Zampiello, general manager of the Foothill Municipal Water District, a water wholesaler that supplies supplemental water to companies that own local wells -- La Canada Irrigation, the Valley Water Co. and Mesa Crest Water Co.

Groundwater under JPL is contaminated with perchlorate -- a chemical used in rocket fuel -- and volatile organic compounds.

Beginning in 1936, the U.S. Army Air Corps tested some of its first rockets at the site and dumped chemicals into pits, said Steve Slaten, project manager for the groundwater cleanup.

Chemicals in the pits eventually seeped into the groundwater and flowed under Hahamongna Watershed Park.

The first of two treatment plants is scheduled for completion by August. Workers will pump and treat the water at the source, Slaten said. Perchlorate levels reached as high as 13,000 parts per billion, more than 3,000 times higher than the state guideline of four parts per billion.

Pasadena filed a $2-million lawsuit against NASA, seeking to recoup costs for shutting down nine water wells believed to be contaminated.

"We are monitoring the situation, but we don't expect any impact on our local wells," said Steve Castellanos, director of public works for La Canada Flintridge.