SAN PEDRO, CALIF. — A water recycling facility here is saving 2.5 million gal. of potable water daily — enough potable water to serve more than 16,000 people per day. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Los Angeles Department of Public Works, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power held an open house in September for the Harbor Water Recycling Project at the Terminal Island Treatment Plant Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The Terminal Island Treatment Plant/Advanced Water Treatment Facility is located 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles in San Pedro. The plant treats wastewater from more than 130,000 people and 100 businesses in the heavily industrialized Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor area.

The water-recycling project consisted of two separate construction projects, one to construct the treatment facility and the other to construct the distribution pipeline. The contract for the wastewater treatment facility was valued at $28 million, and the distribution pipeline cost $30 million.

The wastewater treatment facility consists of a 5-million gal.-per-day microfiltration and reverse-osmosis facility along with the auxiliary systems required to operate the plant. The mechanical scope of work included furnishing and installing reverse-osmosis and auxiliary systems and installation of the city-furnished microfiltration system.

The water recycling project's distribution pipeline, which allows the Water Replenishment District of Southern California to use the reclaimed water for seawater intrusion prevention by injecting it into the Dominguez Gap Barrier project, operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. The injection prevents saltwater intrusion from the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Harbor. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power managed design and construction of this part of the project.

The water-recycling project provides advanced treated recycled water and will replace 50% of the imported water to the Dominguez Gap Seawater Barrier. This facility supplies treated water to protect the drinking water for the region and to protect the West Basin groundwater area from seawater contamination. Using recycled water for the Dominguez Gap Barrier saves 2.5 million gal. per day of potable water.

"The Harbor Water Recycling Project is an essential part of what the Water Replenishment District calls the Water Independence Network program," said Rob Katherman, district director. "Our objective under the WIN program is to eliminate the use of imported water for replenishment and virtually eliminate its use for barrier injection by 2015."

J.F. Shea Construction in Walnut, Calif., performed mechanical construction on the plan-and-spec project. Mechanical engineering for the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility was performed by the staff of the city of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering, Environmental Engineering Division, in association with consulting engineer Montgomery Watson Harza.

"The Harbor Water Recycling Project is a prime example of how Southern California can use high-quality treated water to meet many of our region's water needs," said Mary D. Nichols, board president of the Department of Water and Power, at the open house. "It decreases the city's dependence on imported water and at the same time helps reduce the amount of wastewater discharged into the bay."

Also speaking at the event were Gerald Secundy, vice chair/California Water Resources Control Board; Rita Robinson, executive director/Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation; and Mark Gold, executive director/Heal the Bay. Frances Spivy-Weber, former executive director/ policy for the Mono Lake Committee, emceed the program.

Members of the public and environmental community as well as water and government officials, industry experts and agency representatives attended the celebration. Following the program of speakers, event attendees were invited to tour the facility to learn more about the state-of-the-art microfiltration and reverse-osmosis processes for treating recycled water for the Harbor Water Recycling Project.