West Basin Helps Honda Reduce Water Use, Green Its Building

American Honda recently received Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its Acura Design Center building in Torrance, Calif.

A key part of Honda’s certification was its reduction in potable water use – specifically, replacing the significant amount of potable water that is used for irrigation and toilet flushing with West Basin Municipal Water District’s recycled water. Since 2007, the Torrance campus has used 8.5 million gallons of recycled water each year for irrigation, cooling towers and flushing toilets and urinals.

West Basin has been recycling treated sewer water since 1995 at its award-winning Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility. The treated sewer water is used for industrial, irrigation and other purposes. The National Water Research Institute and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation have designated West Basin’s facility a National Center for Water Treatment Technologies, one of only six in the country.

Of the 42 points Honda received for Gold LEED certification (39 points are required), 7 points were directly attributable to recycled water use. At this facility, 100 percent of Honda’s irrigation and toilet and urinal water is supplied by recycled water. Honda has also reduced its other potable water use by 77 percent through conservation devices such as dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets and showerheads.

“Honda’s collaboration with West Basin is true leadership in reducing imported water use,” said West Basin Board President Edward C. Little. “In this time of water shortages, it is appropriate to use less imported water by converting to recycled water and installing devices that make facilities more water and energy efficient.”

The recycling plant is the only facility in the world that recycles treated sewer water into five types of customer-designed waters, including water for both high and low pressure boiler feeds, cooling towers, irrigation and ultra-pure, near-distilled quality water for injection into local seawater barriers. Without West Basin’s purification processes and reuse for other purposes, this sewer water would otherwise have gone into Santa Monica Bay.

West Basin plans to double the amount of wastewater it recycles through its Water Reliability 2020 Program to reduce the area’s dependence on imported water from 66 percent to 33 percent by doubling recycling and conservation programs and adding 20 million gallons a day of desalted ocean-water by 2020.

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