FORT IRWIN • The Army hopes to bring in locals to help to build a $100 million water treatment system at Fort Irwin that replaces the post's current system, officials said Wednesday.
The three-year construction project would provide about 200 jobs, with about 60 to 75 percent of those going to locals, said Carol Randall, with the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce organized a meet and greet Wednesday at Barstow Community College to introduce interested contractors to the job.
The new facility will provide up to 5.3 millions of gallons of water a day to the 1,800 buildings on post, serving about 23,000 people, said Lance Toyofuku, director of the post's Department of Public Works.
The post's current facility operates on two water systems: one for drinking water and another for domestic use, said Toni Ortiz with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The drinking water is purified through reverse osmosis, which wastes much water, she said. The domestic use system treats water with chlorine. The new facility will use a single water system using electrodialysis reversal technology to purify the water.
EDR separates contaminants from clean water through an electrochemical process, said Lt. Col. Joseph Seybold, project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The new facility boasts a much more efficient water purification system that will meet the Army's ambitious standard for water efficiency, Seybold said. The current water treatment system at Fort Irwin recovers only 40-60 percent of water purified for drinking — far lower than the Army standard of 99.6 percent water recovery.
The new facility will also meet state and federal standards for water efficiency. Seybold said the post received a citation in 2004 from the California Department of Health — an event that prompted, in part, the building of the new facility.
But maintaining the three groundwater basins available to Fort Irwin is a chief concern that prompted the new facility.
"The purpose of this project is to conserve as much as possible the area's limited water resources," Seybold said.
Seybold said this facility will be among the most water efficient facilities in the nation — treating water at an anticipated 99.8 percent recovery rate.
The facility should be in operation by December 2015, Seybold said.
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