Home\Latest News\Metropolitan Partners With Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to Explore Regional Recycled Water Supply Program

Metropolitan Partners With Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to Explore Regional Recycled Water Supply Program

Date: November 11, 2015

The first step toward the potential development of a large-scale regional treatment project to purify wastewater currently discharged into the Pacific Ocean and instead use it to recharge local groundwater basins was approved November 10 by Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors.

The board authorized an agreement with the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to develop a 1-million-gallon-per-day demonstration plant and also to establish terms and conditions for future development of what could become the largest recycled water supply program of its kind in the nation.

Under the partnership, Metropolitan could ultimately build a new purification plant to produce up to 168,000 acre-feet per year at the sanitation district’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson along with about 30 miles of distribution pipelines to replenish groundwater basins in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record said the proposed program would represent the first in-region production of water by Metropolitan, the Southland’s primary water import agency.

“The purified water produced by this program would represent a new drought-proof supply to help replenish the region’s groundwater basins, which typically produce about a third of Southern California’s overall water needs,” Record said.

“Diversifying the region’s supply sources, advancing conservation and maintaining our imported supplies are all critical and complementary parts of our long-term water plan for Southern California,” Record said.

Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said the proposed project involves the use of established technologies to purify secondary-treated wastewater and convert it into a supply that is suitable for indirect potable reuse through groundwater recharge.

“Under this program, water would be purified and injected or spread into local groundwater basins as an added safety barrier before being pumped out and used as drinking water,” Kightlinger said, noting the project would be the largest such facility in the nation at full build-out.

The  Metropolitan board action authorizes $15 million for the demonstration plant and feasibility studies. The board of directors of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County will consider the proposed agreement terms on Nov. 16.

The program’s first operational phase could produce about 67,000 acre-feet of recycled water per year. Additional phases could bring total production up to 168,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, about the amount used by two typical Southland households in a year.

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