Livingston gets state of the art water filtration system

LIVINGSTON, Calif. (KFSN) -- A multi-million dollar filtration system is now up and running in one Merced County city that's been dealing with water contamination for years. Livingston residents and Foster Farms are now getting cleaner water thanks to a new filtration system.

A $2 million filtration system off Livingston-Cressey Road is now removing a chemical called TCP from well number eight. It was found to have a higher level of the potentially cancer causing manmade chemical than other wells across Livingston. The city paid for the project with part of a $9 million settlement from a lawsuit against two companies that were blamed for not doing enough to protect residents.

Livingston City Manager Jose Ramirez said, "There is contamination to our ground water, and because of that the city went into litigation, so that was the promise to the residents of this community that money was going to be used for TCP treatment."

Four large vessels make up the heart of the carbon filtration system which is monitored by computers.

Utility Water Operator Tony Avina said, "Our well which is back behind us is sending water underground into the pipe, and it's sending it into the filters, comes through all four filters, and then comes out and heads back into the distribution system."

The well pumps more than 1,200 gallons per minute. Most of the water goes to nearby Foster Farms, but some is used is residential areas.

Avina added, "This is very important because it's for the health of not just us and our kids, it's the future."

The city is planning more projects to filter the water from other wells, but city manager Jose Ramirez says local officials are still waiting for the state to set an exact number for how much TCP is allowed to avoid wasting money.

Ramirez explained, "I think we're probably the first TCP treatment facility in the Valley here, so this is a pilot program, and we're going to try to learn as much as we can from this well so we can implement in other parts of the city."

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