RAW: Coleville High School project to remove uranium from water completed

The Coleville High School Water Project, which is being jointly funded by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Eastern Sierra Unified School District, recently completed a new water project that removes naturally occurring uranium from the school's drinking water.

The DWR and CDPH funding comes from Proposition 84 bonds, which were approved by voters in 2006 to support water supply, water quality, and natural resource protection. More specifically, DWR funding was provided through the Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Program (IRWMP), which has been working to secure funding for water projects in the region since 2008. In 2011, the Inyo-Mono IRWMP was awarded a grant of $1,075,000 to fund seven on-the-ground projects that support improvements in water supply and water quality in Inyo and Mono Counties.

The objectives of the Coleville High School Water Project are two-fold: (1) to remove uranium, which currently exceeds the state drinking water standard, and (2) to provide storage capacity for both the school and local emergency fire protection needs. An ion exchange unit will be used to remove the uranium. Three 6,800-gallon storage tanks will be installed (one for raw water; two for treated water) and will provide the campus with a minimum of four days of potable water. This water will also be available for fire protection via two new fire hydrants.

Work on the project began last year and was completed last month.