West Basin Provides 5 Kinds of Recycled Water

West Basin Municipal Water District claims to have developed one of the most unique water recycling systems in the world. It makes five types of “designer” recycled waters that serve needs from irrigation to refinery cooling towers, street cleaners to indirect drinking water.

The designer recycled waters include

  • ultrapure water for high pressure boiler feeds,
  • purified water for low pressure boiler feeds,
  • cooling tower water,
  • irrigation water, and
  • indirect potable drinking water for seawater barriers that protect coastal Los Angeles' groundwater from saltwater contamination. Barrier water also replenishes groundwater wells.

The district launched its water recycling program in the mid-1990s following a statewide drought. To promote local water reliability, West Basin has invested more than $500 million in the program. It also has invested in an ocean-water desalination program that uses the same technology – microfiltration and reverse osmosis.

According to the district, 30 million (and eventually 70 million) gallons a day of sewer water and five tons of biosolids (eventually 10 tons) are no longer discharged each day into Santa Monica Bay. That amount of wastewater is redirected to the water recycling facility for treatment and reuse. The biosolids are recycled daily into landfill covers and roadbed fill.

The program serves parks, golf courses, office buildings, and others, recently producing its 100 billionth gallon of recycled water, and works with more than 300 customers, from Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, bp, Toyota, and Honda, to the Home Depot Center, Marriott and others.