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Construction on the $6.8 million upgrade of the Lessalt Water Treatment Plant on Fairview Road is approximately half complete, with completion expected by November. The improvements will allow treatment of up to 2 million gallons of water per day and is "the first step in improving the drinking water in Hollister's urban area," according to a flyer sent this month to local water customers.

The lessalt plant upgrade, which began in December 2013, is the first phase of the Hollister Urban Area Water Project, a collaborative effort approved last year between the City of Hollister, Sunnyslope County Water District and the San Benito County Water District. The goal is to improve drinking water quality, protect the groundwater basin and help meet wastewater discharge requirements.

Project manager Harry Blohm said the water treatment plant upgrade is on schedule and on budget. The project consists of additional filtration, pre-oxidation and chlorination, all of which are required to meet federal water quality requirements. The next phase of the urban area water project will be construction of the West Hills Water Treatment Plant, which will treat up to 4.5 million gallons per day of imported Central Valley Project water. Additioal pipelines will also be constructed to deliver treated surface water to the Hollister area.

For more information on the Hollister Urban Area Water Project, click here.