CARSON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In February 2014, West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) reached a new milestone; 150 billion gallons of total recycled water production at its Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, California. One-hundred-fifty billion gallons of water would serve approximately 3.7 million people for a year and if put into 1 gallon jugs, would circle the equator 10,000 times. The plant, in operation since 1995, reached this landmark at a time when California faces one of the worst droughts to date.
West Basin began recycling water following the droughts of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. At that time, the West Basin Board of Directors embarked on a program to diversify its water supplies by adding recycled water and conservation efforts. In 2007, the Board renamed the West Basin Water Recycling Facility to the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in honor of Director Little’s five term commitment to West Basin and his leadership that resulted in the water recycling facility that now bears his name.
“This water recycling facility is unique, in fact, it is the only one in the world that makes five types of usable water out of wastewater,” said Donald L. Dear, West Basin Board Vice President. “One of the five purified waters is injected along the west coast basin to form an underground wall of water that protects local groundwater from seawater intrusion. West Basin’s protection of the seawater barrier has the additional benefit of bringing down the salinity of the groundwater by adding ultra-pure, near distilled quality water.”
The five types of “designer” waters the plant produces are: irrigation water (tertiary disinfected); cooling tower water (nitrified); low-pressure boiler feed water (single pass reverse osmosis); high-pressure boiler feed water (double pass reverse osmosis); and indirect drinking water (microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide). The indirect drinking water is so pure; minerals are added back to the water before it can be used. West Basin’s recycled waters are developed to meet specific customer needs.
Customers of West Basin’s recycled water include Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Tesoro refineries, Goodyear Airship Station, StubHub Center, Toyota and Honda corporate headquarters, city parks, golf courses, and large landscapes. Approximately 50 percent of the City of El Segundo’s water use is recycled water.
The Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility was recently expanded and increased its operational capacity from 30 to approximately 45 million gallons of recycled water per day. This means that 45 million gallons of wastewater is used and not sent to the ocean each day. By producing usable water locally, West Basin has reduced its carbon footprint by saving one billion kilowatt hours of electricity when compared to imported water from Northern California. In addition to water recycling production, the plant’s solar power installation provides 10 percent of the plant’s power.
West Basin Municipal Water District is a wholesale water district that serves nearly a million people in 17 cities and unincorporated areas throughout its 185-square mile service area. West Basin is reducing its dependence on imported water through its Water Reliability 2020 program that will double conservation, double recycled water production and add desalted ocean water to its portfolio by the year 2020. Visit www.westbasin.org to learn more.