Southern California gets wastewater reuse and desalination grants

Southern California’s Joint Water Purification Pilot Program (JWPPP), which will evaluate the feasibility of wastewater reuse using advanced water treatment, has received a US$ 334,000 grant from the US Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART program.

The JWPPP is a collaborative effort between the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (SDLAC) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The grant will go towards a pilot-scale advanced treatment system to purify treated wastewater to near distilled water quality, surpassing all safe drinking water standards. The pilot-scale facility is located at the SDLAC Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in the city of Carson.

If the pilot-scale demonstration is successful, the two agencies will evaluate the feasibility of b a full-scale system that could provide up to 200 MGD (757,000 m³/d) of purified water, enough to satisfy the demands of over one million people.The purified water would be used to recharge the groundwater basins and replace the increasingly unreliable sources of imported water currently used for that purpose.

Steve Maguin, chief engineer and general manager of the SDLAC, praised the action saying, “The JWPPP could lead to the use of an untapped supply of reliable water that is greatly needed by drought prone Southern California.” This new water supply could result in reducing Metropolitan Water District’s projected annual water supply imbalance of 555,000 acre-feet (685 million m³) in the year 2035 by 40%.

Three other California projects to receive Reclamation grants in August under the WaterSMART program were:

  • West Basin Municipal Water District (California), Ocean Water Desalination Demonstration Project. This district will receive US$ 600,000 towards a total project cost of US$ 10,600,526. The project will evaluate various alternative technologies for seawater desalination along the Pacific coast. The demonstration facility will utilize approximately 580,000 gallons per day (2,200 m³/d) of seawater to test intake technologies, pretreatment systems, reverse-osmosis technology, and post-treatment options.
  • Municipal Water District of Orange County, Pilot Plant Testing of Slant Well Seawater Intakes and Advanced Water Treatment Pretreatment Technologies for Control and Removal of Low Levels of Iron and Manganese. This project will receive US$ 500,000 towards a total project cost of US$ 1,250,000. The project will develop pilot tests for a new operational pilot seawater desalination test facility. The facility will implement a slant well intake, which is meant to avoid environmental concerns associated with open-intake facilities by utilizing natural filtration through the ocean floor and underlying alluvial deposits.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Groundwater Replenishment Treatment Pilot Study. The project will receive US$ 600,000 towards a total project cost of US$ 2,274,099. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will address the technical and economic viability of groundwater replenishment with advanced treated recycled water in the City of Los Angeles.