UWCD’s New Iron and Manganese Treatment Plant Comes Online by United Water Conservation District Sep 15, 2023 Member Submitted News United Water Conservation District (UWCD) is celebrating the start of operations for its new Iron and Manganese Treatment Plant at the District’s El Rio facility (located at 3561 N. Rose Avenue, Oxnard CA 93036) with an official open-to-the-public ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 10 a.m. “As with all of the District’s water sustainability projects, collaboration is key,” stated UWCD’s General Manager Mauricio Guardado in announcing the multi-dignitary ceremony. “This project, which grew out of UWCD’s annual Water Sustainability Summit, benefitted from the support of the entire community, including U.S. Representative Julia Brownley, U.S. Navy Base Ventura County’s Commanding Officer Captain Robert “Barr” Kimnach III, State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency, and so many others.” That support translated into $4.2 million in grant funding from the federal Department of Defense’s Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) and another $2.5 million from the state’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) Prop 1 Integrated Regional Water Management. The new plant ensures the water quality, water supply and drought resiliency for the estimated 250,000 county residents that rely on the four small mutual water companies serving the El Rio area as well as for the cities of Oxnard and Port Hueneme and, ultimately, families living on Navy Base Ventura County. UWCD Board President Bruce Dandy added: “The Board and staff of United look forward to celebrating the construction and operation of this innovative new plant, another valuable accomplishment of the District, with all of the people it will benefit and our special guests, which include Captain Kimnach, State Water Resources Control Board Chief Deputy Director Jonathan Bishop, Ventura County Supervisor Vianey Lopez, and others.” The new $10.32 million Iron and Manganese Treatment plant reduces concentrations of iron and manganese in groundwater pumped from deep wells at the El Rio wellfield. As UWCD Chief Engineer Dr. Maryam Bral explained: “Treating the groundwater from the Lower Aquifer System (LAS) wells at the El Rio facility at a rate of 3,500 gallons of groundwater per minute initially, future phases for the plant can expand operations up to 8,250 gallons per minute, vastly improving water quality, water supply reliability, and drought resiliency. By reducing iron and manganese concentrations in the water from LAS wells, UWCD will then use that water to blend with water from the Upper Aquifer System (UAS) wells that contain high concentrations of nitrate during periods of drought. The result is some 11,750 acre-feet of groundwater per year, enhancing the local water supply. # # # United Water Conservation District manages, protects, conserves and enhances the water resources of the District and produces a reliable and sustainable supply of groundwater for the reasonable, beneficial use of all users.