MWD Awards $13.9 Million Contract to Construct Recycled Water Demonstration Facility

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has taken a significant step toward the potential development of what would be one of the world’s largest water recycling programs. 

The district has awarded a $13.9 million contract for the construction of an advanced water treatment demonstration facility that will take treated wastewater and purify it through various advanced processes to produce a safe, high-quality water source to replenish the region’s groundwater basins. 

The 500,000-gallon-per-day demonstration facility will be operated for at least one year to generate information needed for the potential construction of a full-scale recycled water plant that has been proposed by Metropolitan and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. 

Through the Regional Recycled Water Program, Metropolitan would take wastewater treated at the Sanitation Districts’ Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson—water that is currently treated and discharged into the ocean—and purify it using reverse osmosis and other processes. 

These advanced treatment technologies have been used for decades in California and across the globe, and produce high-quality water that meets all state and federal standards. 

“This is a great opportunity for Metropolitan to develop a new source of local water,” Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record said. “Though last winter brought record rain and snow to many parts of California, our water supply challenges remain. 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.”

Editor's Note: The subject line of the August 2017 Water Reuse Report (emailed to members) indicated this was a DPR project. That was incorrect, and WRC apologizes for the error.

Jonathan Heller