Hawthorne Utilities was awarded funds to build a water treatment wetlands facility for the community and Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot, where the facility is located.

In a press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the new wetlands will be a green infrastructure to “improve nitrogen removal, reduce groundwater degradation and improve the local treatment facility’s ability to meet effluent quality permit requirements.”

Larry Grant, Director of Hawthorne Utilities explained to the Independent-News that this project has been a six year journey for the department after ground water had been detected with nitrogen and it was his responsibility to deal with the nitrogen issue. His department began by building the new sewer treatment facility, new head works and three treatment ponds. Phase II was replacement of the aeration system and placement of blowers at the facility. Phase III is currently in construction.

“Phase III is six individual cells that have low flow rates of water through heavy vegetation. The wetlands then discharge to rapid rehabilitation bases which return back to the ground water,” Grant explained. The natural process of the vegetation removes the nitrogen from the water.

“We built this plant off an SRF bond loan for $1,000,000. SRF gave us [Hawthorne Utilities] a loan forgiveness grant for $647,740. As of now, we are at 80.99 percent complete,” Grant explained.

The EPA has awarded more than $444 million to Nevada’s clean water and drinking water revolving fund programs since 1988.

“Protection of our ground water is of the utmost importance. The source that feeds our water systems including the lake,” Grant concluded.