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


Water treatment site planned


NASA to build it, fund operation




Emanuel Parker, Staff Writer


Pasadena Star News


PASADENA - Windsor Avenue near Ventura Street in Altadena could be the site for a new water treatment plant to remove the toxic chemical perchlorate from four Pasadena-owned wells.

The City of Pasadena and NASA, which operates the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Ca ada Flintridge, finalized an agreement this week in which NASA will build and fund the operation of the plant, with construction to begin sometime in 2007.

Steve Slaten, the NASA remedial project manager at JPL, said a planning process that includes public notices, hearings and impact reports will take place before a final site is selected.

Brad Boman, Pasadena Water and Power engineering manager, said the Windsor/Ventura site is owned by Pasadena and, except for a water tank, is empty.

Boman said NASA budgeted $3.6 million for the plant. Merrilee Fellows, with JPL's NASA management office, said the plant will cost around $2 million.

Upon completion, it will be leased to the city for $3 million a year, she said, with NASA picking up the tab.

The plant will treat groundwater from the Arroyo Well, Well 52, the Ventura Well and the Windsor Well. Those wells collectively are known as the Monk Hill aquifer.

NASA officials said once the plant begins operation, the city will be able to reopen the wells.

Perchlorate is an oxidizing agent used in solid rocket propellent. It has been shown to cause thyroid cancer and to disrupt child development.

The contaminant was first detected in the Monk Hill aquifer eight years ago, igniting several years of intense negotiations in which city officials pressed NASA to take responsibility for the contamination and pay to treat the local groundwater.

The chemical leaked into the groundwater from disposal pits at JPL near where rocket boosters were tested during the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

Pasadena has had to close nine wells because of perchlorate contamination. City officials said they hope the agreement signals NASA's willingness to pay for cleanup at a second site, the Sunset basin, where five wells were closed.

NASA already is funding operation of a water treatment plant at the Lincoln Avenue Water Co. in Altadena.

Federal sources say perchlorate has contaminated roughly 400 groundwater, surface water, soil and drinking sites across the nation. California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein issued statements this week criticizing the Bush administration's new perchlorate cleanup goal.

The Environmental Protection Agency set a standard of 24.5 parts per billion. California's standard is 6 ppb for drinking water, but some experts recommend a 1 ppb standard.

Fellows said the new plant will be capable of reducing perchlorate to levels of less than 6 ppb.

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