Metropolitan study suggests construction of groundwater basins

A new metropolitan study suggests that there is a scope to treat and purify wastewater and distribute it across the groundwater basins with collaboration between the Metropolitan Water District and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.

The feasibility study has provided a required platform for the authorities to move forward for constructing a demonstration facility, which could begin later this year.

Metropolitan general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said: “We are very excited this programme is moving closer to reality.

“With drought, climate change and environmental restrictions changing the way we manage water, we are committed to developing and investing in new local sources of water to supplement the region’s other supplies.

“This programme is one part of the region’s comprehensive effort to increase water supplies that are drought proof and climate resilient. And it complements the many other solutions we are working on.”

Under Regional Recycled Water Program, Metropolitan can take wastewater treated at the Sanitation Districts’ Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson and purify it using reverse osmosis and other processes.

The treatment technology suggested by the study is already used in California as well as other parts of the world for producing high-quality water.

This water is stored in four groundwater basins located in Los Angeles and Orange counties, which will enable additional natural filtration process.

These water basins which cater to needs of 7.2 million people, are presently recharged with local rainwater, as well as water imported from the Colorado River and Northern California.

Recharging these basins with recycled water from a project developed by Metropolitan could be used for future needs including storage for future droughts and emergencies.

The estimated construction cost for these water basins is $2.7bn, which includes construction of advanced treatment facility in Carson as well as laying 60 miles of pipelines to the groundwater basins.

The project, which will also incur an annual maintenance cost of $129m, is reported to have a capacity to produce up to 150 million gallons of purified water per day.

Currently, Metropolitan is in the process of designing a demonstration facility that will allow the agencies to further test, monitor and optimise the treatment process.