SOURCE: Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

September 09, 2010 17:52 ET

Local Agencies to Receive WaterSMART Grant for Joint Water Purification Pilot Program

PICO RIVERA, CA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2010) - Today, United States Representative Grace Napolitano of the 38th Congressional District announced a $334,000 grant for funding of the Joint Water Purification Pilot Program (Pilot Program). This grant comes from the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART program.

The Pilot Program is a collaborative effort between the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (Sanitation Districts) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The purpose is to evaluate the feasibility of recycling treated wastewater, currently discharged to the Pacific Ocean, through advanced water treatment. This involves a pilot-scale advanced treatment system to purify the treated wastewater to near distilled water quality, surpassing all safe drinking water standards. The pilot-scale facility is located at the Sanitation Districts' Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in the city of Carson. 

If the pilot-scale demonstration is successful, the two agencies will evaluate the feasibility of construction of a full-scale system that could provide up to 200 million gallons per day of purified water, enough to satisfy the demands of over one million people. The purified water would be used to recharge the groundwater basins, and replace the increasingly unreliable sources of imported water currently used for that purpose. 

Steve Maguin, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Sanitation Districts, praised the action saying, "The Sanitation Districts are pleased to be receiving this WaterSMART grant. The Joint Water Purification Pilot Program could lead to the use of an untapped supply of reliable water that is greatly needed by drought prone Southern California."

The Sanitation Districts function on a regional scale and consist of 23 independent special districts serving over 5.7 million people in 78 cities and unincorporated territory within Los Angeles County. The Sanitation Districts protect public health and the environment through innovative and cost-effective wastewater and solid waste management, and in doing so convert waste into resources such as recycled water, energy, and recycled materials.

The Department of the Interior's WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) program is intended to meet the increasing set of water resource challenges, including aging infrastructure, rapid population growth, depletion of groundwater resources, impaired water quality associated with particular land uses, and climate variability. The WaterSMART program is working to achieve a sustainable water strategy to meet the Nation's water needs, including the contribution of grants to worthy programs that support the program's goals.