San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund
The Furman Group assisted the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority of Southern California in obtaining nearly $85 million in Federal funding for the construction of water quality improvement facilities throughout the San Gabriel Water Basin to contain and treat groundwater pollution.

The San Gabriel Basin supplies drinking water to 1.4 million people in eastern Los Angeles County. Volatile organic compounds, including suspected carcinogens, were discovered in the groundwater basin in 1979. Efforts to remove these compounds were moving forward under the federal Superfund program until 1997 when perchlorate was found in groundwater. This greatly complicated the cleanup because perchlorate and volatile organic compounds require different treatment methods. The perchlorate discovery closed a number of wells, cutting off the entire water supply for one water district and restricting water production for other producers. Faced with these problems, water producers and the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority (WQA) began joint efforts to solve the immediate water supply problems and create an overall solution that could win backing from all levels of government and from private industry.

The San Gabriel Groundwater Basin covers more than 160 square miles in Los Angeles County and is the primary source of drinking water for over 1.2 million people. Furthermore, natural groundwater flows from the San Gabriel Basin are allowing the contamination to spread into the Central Groundwater Basin, a vast 277 square-mile underground aquifer that provides drinking water to over half of Los Angeles County. Subsequently, the Restoration Fund has helped to protect the drinking water supplies of over 3 million people. The San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund was established pursuant to Public Law 106-554 and is administered cooperatively by the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority and the Bureau of Reclamation. The federal and non-federal monies contributed to the fund continue the design, construction, and operation of water projects to contain and treat the spreading groundwater contamination in the San Gabriel and Central Groundwater Basins.
  • Treatment facilities funded by the Restoration Fund have treated 84,430 acre feet of groundwater and have removed over 4 tons of contaminants.
  • The Restoration Fund has helped to fund 13 treatment facilities.
  • Contaminants removed include Perchlorate, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,4-Dioxane, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), Volatile Organic Compounds(VOC’s).
  • To date these efforts have helped to remove over 20 tons of contaminants, and treated nearly 313,000 acre-feet of groundwater.
  • The current price for an acre-foot of treated, ready-to-drink Colorado River water in the high-demand summer period is $425. Cost to pump, treat and deliver an acre-foot of local San Gabriel Basin groundwater is $65 to $250 depending on the levels and types of contamination being treated.
  • The Restoration Fund has been used as a catalyst in securing over $300 million in legal settlements.
  • Over 50 PRP’s have settled their liability and partnered with local water entities to build treatment facilities.