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City of Hutchinson, Kan., Honored for Public Water Projects

Release Date: 01/06/2009
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 6, 2009) - EPA Region 7 today honored the City of Hutchinson, Kan., with a pair of awards in recognition of the city's innovative efforts to remediate problems with its water supply and provide better drinking water to its residents.

In ceremonies this morning at Hutchinson City Hall, EPA officials presented City Council representatives with the 2008 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Award, and the 2008 Clean Water State Revolving Fund Award. The latter honor is also known as the PISCES Award, which stands for Performance in Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success.

Both awards relate to an ongoing $34 million series of projects by the city to remediate contaminated ground water, reduce salt loading to the Cow Creek and Arkansas River watersheds, and produce potable water for the city's water system. The project has involved construction of remediation and extraction wells, raw water pipelines, distribution pipelines and a reverse osmosis water treatment plant.

"The people of Hutchinson can be proud of these investments," EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew said. "These projects not only provide Hutchinson with an excellent quality of drinking water now and into the future, but they also serve to improve downstream water quality."

Much of Hutchinson's ground water contains high levels of chlorides, or salts. The city's water infrastructure projects are helping to eliminate the discharge of chlorides from treated ground water into the Cow Creek and Arkansas River watersheds, which benefits aquatic life. Because home water softening systems will be treating softer water, further reductions of salt loading are anticipated, which should produce benefits downstream where the Arkansas River interacts with the Equus Beds Aquifer, a primary water source for Wichita and other communities.
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