The State

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began a $25-million clean-up project last week to drain nearly a half-billion gallons of selenium-contaminated water from polluted Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge and hopes to complete the work by late June. The first phase involves draining tainted water out of the refuge, near the Merced County community of Los Banos, and into the San Joaquin River, which empties into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Delta water flows to the ocean through San Francisco Bay. The selenium-laden water is diluted with untainted water before being pumped into the river.

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