Project would mark first in-region production of local supplies by
Southern California’s primary water import agency
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 today by Metropolitan Water District’s Board of
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.
Today’s 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.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a
cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million
people in six counties. The district imports water from
the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies,
and helps its members to develop increased water conservation,
recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California