The Mesa Consolidated Water District�s board of directors unanimously awarded a $16.8 million construction contract for the district�s Colored Water Treatment Facility improvements to Brutoco Engineering & Construction of Fontana.

Brutoco was the lowest of five contractors that submitted bids. Construction began Jan. 3 with completion planned for mid-2012. The project�s construction manager is MWH Constructors and the design engineer is Carollo.

�This bid award is another key milestone for Mesa Consolidated Water District, and it marks the start of improving our Colored Water Treatment Facility with a more effective and energy-efficient system,� says Fred R. Bockmiller, Jr., P.E., the board�s president. �By installing new nanofiltration membranes at the facility, we will be able to produce 50% more water, thus increasing the district�s high-quality local water reliability, and reducing the need for more expensive, less available imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River.�

Other benefits of the Colored Water Treatment Facility improvements include a drought-proof local water supply for district customers, a zero sum effect on water rates and long-term rate stabilization for district customers, the creation of 20 local jobs, a decrease in facility noise levels and better protection of the region�s clear-water basin from colored water migration.

Mesa Consolidated Water District sits above a portion of Orange County�s groundwater basin that includes a supply of amber-colored water hundreds of feet below the clear-water reserves. The colored water is of very high quality and safe to drink, although it has a slight amber tint resulting from the buried ancient redwood forests that grew in the area. The district�s Colored Water Treatment Facility went online in 2000 to tap into this water source, using an ozone filtration process to remove the color from the water.

To date, the facility has produced 15 billion gallons of water.