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

Title:

Water plant on line by fall

Subtitle:

Date:

2004-07-10

Author:

Gary Scott, Staff Writer

Publication:

Pasadena Star News

Content:

PASADENA -- A treatment plant to clean the toxic chemical perchlorate from Pasadena's groundwater should be up and running by fall, according to NASA and city officials.
The announcement comes after NASA abandoned plans to pump contaminated groundwater out of the Monk Hill basin and pipe it to a treatment facility being constructed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, which is owned by the space agency.

Steve Slaten, whos is heading the remediation project for NASA, said recent advances in technolgoy makes streating the water at the well-heads a cheaper and more efficient solution.

"Also, it helps control the plume," said Brad Boman, engineering managert for Pasadena Water & Power. "The sooner we can start pumpingwater out of the ground, the more control we have on the groundwater plume."

Perchlorate, a salt used in solid rocket fuel, flares and automobile air bags, impairs thyroid function at certain levels. Rocket testing at JPL in the 1950s is believed responsible for most of the contamination in this area.

Pasadena Water and Power has had to shut down nine wells because of perchlorate contamination. Two have since reopened after levels fell below state standards and two others will remain closed.

The treatment plant will target the four wells that draw water from the Monk Hill basin, which runs under the Hahamongna Watershed Park and JPL. An ion-exchange filtration system will be used to remove perchlorate from the water.

Six vessels, each about 12-feet tall and 12-feet in diameter, will be installed, likely near the Windsor Reservoir. The vessels have the capacity to filter about 7,000 gallons of water per minute.

A separate treatment facility will remove volatile organic chemical contaminants, making the water safe to drink, Boman said.

A smaller plant is being constructed for the Lincoln Avenue Water District and should be completed by next month.

Bob Hayward ts to see a significant savings since Lincoln imports all of its water from the Metropolitan Water District.

A third treatment plant will be built on the JPL grounds to siphon off and clean the most polluted water. The system will use microbes to eat the perchlorate.

Tests have found perchlorate levels as high as 13,000 parts per billion in the basin, more than 3,000 times higher than the state guidelines of 6 ppb.

The water around the Pasadena and Lincoln wells is not as high, but Slaten said the ion exchange system will clean the water to below 4 ppb.

NASA will fully fund the cleanup, Slaten added, though he had not figure on the total cost.

Researchers, health experts and environmentalists continue to debate the level at which perchlorate constitutes a danger.

In March, the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment set the threshold at 6 parts per billion.

The Natural Resources Defense Counsel said the threshold must be lowered to protect pregnant women and babies from harm.

According to Boman, one part per billion is equal to a cup and a third in a Rose Bowl full of water.

-- Gary Scott can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4458, or by e-mail at gary.scott@sgvn.com .