Aerojet Rocketdyne, Folsom complete work to ease drought’s effects

Citing the urgency to conserve water amid California’s intensifying drought, officials of Aerojet Rocketdyne and the city of Folsom announced Tuesday an interim solution that will enable the company to start reusing millions of gallons of treated groundwater.

By constructing a temporary pipeline and making other improvements at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s groundwater treatment plant in Sacramento County, Aerojet can process about 2 million gallons of water per day for industrial uses, reducing by two-thirds the amount of water it now taps from Folsom.

Officials said the water reuse also is designed to help preserve Folsom Lake water levels heading into the hottest part of the summer.

“For many years, our environmental engineers have worked aggressively to effectively clean groundwater, and we’re happy to help our neighbors in the city of Folsom during this especially dry year,” said Chris Conley, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s vice president of environmental, health and safety, in a statement. Aerojet Rocketdyne is a subsidiary of Rancho Cordova-based rocket engine manufacturer GenCorp Inc.

Folsom City Manager Evert Palmer applauded Aerojet’s efforts, calling the 2 million gallons “a big deal,” the equivalent of 2 cubic feet per second passing through Folsom Dam. He noted that Folsom Lake supplies drinking water for about 500,000 residents.

“We appreciate Aerojet Rocketdyne’s willingness to devise this innovative solution to reduce reliance on our limited water supply,” Palmer said.

Under a 2007 agreement between Aerojet and the city of Folsom, the company agreed to begin using treated water for industrial uses from one of its groundwater extraction and treatment facilities by 2016. The agreement required facility upgrades and other permanent infrastructure improvements.

Aerojet and Folsom officials said this year’s severe drought conditions prompted action to install an interim pipeline in advance of the permanent one.

Aerojet Rocketdyne extracts and treats groundwater under the oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

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