Water reuse demo plant gets the green light in California

The Metropolitan District of Southern California has taken a step closer to developing one of the world’s largest water recycling systems.

The ambition to build a water recycling infrastructure moved forward on 11 July 2017 when Metropolitan’s board of directors voted in favour of awarding a $13.9 million contract for construction of an advanced water treatment demonstration facility for groundwater replenishment.

The 500,000 US gallon a day (1,900 m3/d) demo plant will operate for a minimum of a year to generate information that could potentially be used to inform construction of a full-scale recycled water plant that has been proposed by Metropolitan, and by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.

The potential regional recycled water programme could see Metropolitan take treated wastewater from the Sanitation Districts’ Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson, and further purify it using reverse osmosis and other processes.

“We face a future that will bring more drought years, compounded by uncertainties from climate change and variability of imported water supplies. Recycled water would provide us a reliable, drought-proof, climate-resilient, local supply to recharge groundwater basins and supply the needs of the region’s growing economy, even in dry years,” said Metropolitan board chairman Randy Record.