Tag Archive for: Water Treatment

Agencies in California are Recycling Wastewater into Drinking Water as Demand Grows

Every day, 130 gallons of treated wastewater, normally draining into the Pacific Ocean, undergo a three-step purification process, including microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light.

Major US, UK Water Companies Hit by Ransomware

Veolia describes itself as the world’s largest private player in the water sector, providing water and wastewater services to tens of millions of people. In a notice posted on its website, Veolia North America revealed that its Municipal Water division was hit by ransomware last week. In response to the incident, the company took down the targeted backend systems and servers, which disrupted online bill payment systems.

The East County Advanced Water Purification project is making significant progress on construction toward its 2026 opening. Photo: East County AWP

East County Advanced Water Purification Project Progressing

The East County Advanced Water Purification project is progressing, with construction underway at multiple East San Diego County locations.

The project will create a new, local, sustainable, and drought-proof water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water. Construction for the East County AWP is expected to be completed in 2025, and water production will begin in 2026. When completed, the project is expected to provide approximately 30% of current drinking water demands for East San Diego County residents and businesses.

When completed, the water recycling facility will be able to treat 16 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The advanced water purification facility will be able to process 11.5 MGD. Photo: East County AWP

When completed, the water recycling facility can treat 16 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The advanced water purification facility will be able to process 11.5 MGD. Photo: East County AWP

Water treatment facilities are under construction north of Santee Lakes. Concrete work is underway on the water recycling and solids handling facilities. About 24,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured, marking nearly 50% of the total concrete used at this site. Once complete, there will be enough concrete to fill 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Crews at the East County AWP construction site in Santee found this friendly tarantula. More tarantulas are emerging from hiding as mating season is in full swing across San Diego County. Photo East County Advanced Water Puritifcation

Crews at the East County AWP construction site in Santee found this friendly tarantula. More tarantulas emerge from hiding as mating season is in full swing across San Diego County. Photo East County AWP

The advanced water purification facility and visitors center are also taking shape with the installation of underground piping and conduits.

When completed, the water recycling facility can treat 16 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The advanced water purification facility will be able to process 11.5 MGD.

Time lapse video of the project

Pipeline construction in Santee

Pipeline construction continues on Fanita Parkway north of Ganley in Santee. Biking and hiking access to the trails north of Ganley are temporarily located at the end of Strathmore to provide a safe space for construction.

Pipeline construction along Fanita Parkway north of Santee Lakes. Photo: East County Advanced Water Purification

Pipeline construction along Fanita Parkway north of Santee Lakes. Photo: East County AWP

The purified water pipeline will travel east through Santee and Lakeside, ending at Lake Jennings. Two additional pipelines will be constructed south of the new facilities past Carlton Oaks Drive to a pump station just south of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course.

Most pipeline work will be trenched, placed, and covered, while the remainder will be installed using trenchless technologies and methods. There may be some impacts from construction, including road travel delays. Construction hours vary depending on the project elements being completed.

The purified water pipeline running from the advanced water purification facility north of Santee Lakes to Lake Jennings is 10.2 miles long.

Interactive construction map

An interactive construction map tracks project construction sites and work progress. Photo: East County Advanced Water Purification

An interactive construction map tracks project construction sites and work progress. Photo: East County AWP

An interactive map allows viewers to zoom in and click on project areas to find active construction zones, schedules, work hours, and other information. Communication will include mailers, email updates, road signs, interactive maps, webpage updates, and presentations to community groups throughout the project area.

Groundbreaking ceremony in 2022

East County AWP-water recycling-water supply-sustainability

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program broke ground on June 1, 2022, marking an important milestone for the recycled water project in San Diego County. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

The June 2022 groundbreaking followed the approval of project construction on May 19, 2022, by the East County AWP Joint Powers Authority that owns and operates the Program. The Joint Powers Authority is a collaborative partnership between four agencies: Padre Dam, the City of El Cajon, the County of San Diego and Helix Water District. The project is estimated to create 2,500 jobs in the region.

East County Advanced Water Purification Program

East County AWP-water recycling-sustainability-water supply-recycling

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply by using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water to produce up to 30% of East County’s drinking water supply. Graphic: East County AWP

(Editor’s note: The Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Helix Water District are two of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Imperial Beach Seeks Federal Assistance in Ceasing Ongoing Pollution from Tijuana River Sewage Spill

Imperial Beach urgently needs federal funding to put an end to the Tijuana River’s ongoing sewage spill that’s kept portions of the city’s beaches closed, Mayor Paloma Aguirre wrote in a letter to the White House.

Seeking a federal state of emergency status for the continued pollution, Mayor Aguirre called on the Biden administration to declare the emergency for the shoreline of Imperial Beach and the Tijuana River Valley. Such a proclamation would expedite funding and projects across federal agencies to tackle the source of the issue.

Algae Bloom Prompts Water Contact Advisory at Lower Otay Reservoir

An algae bloom prompted city officials to post caution signs at its Lower Otay Reservoir.

The City of San Diego advises the public to not expose their skin to the water while the cautionary alert is in effect.

Key Funding Comes Through From EPA to Boost Water Supply in Ventura

Ventura has been awarded federal loans covering half the costs for a program to convert treated wastewater into safe drinking water and reduce discharges of effluent into the Santa Clara River estuary.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday at the city’s water reclamation plant, officials said the venture will benefit the environment, boost water supplies by up to 20% and protect the community against drought.

Work Begins on $500M Advanced Water Treatment Facility for Los Angeles

Design is underway on the $500-million Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility, one of the largest potable reuse projects in the country.

Led by LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) and the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (LADWP), the facility will be constructed via progressive design-build, with Jacobs serving as the lead contractor.

Helix Water District SCADA/ Instrumentation/Electrical Technician Joshua Smith works on an ozone generator at the district’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant in Lakeside. Photo: Helix Water District

Helix Water District Upgrades Water Treatment, Saves Costs

A recent upgrade to a Helix Water District treatment plant saved money for its ratepayers while ensuring a continued supply of high quality drinking water.

After 20 years of service, the ozone disinfection system at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant needed an upgrade. The projected cost of outsourcing the work needed came to $3.5 million. Instead, Helix staff at the plant proposed doing the work themselves – and they did – saving an estimated 70% after the work was completed for $1.1 million.

“With infrastructure projects, we always start with two questions,” said Helix Water District General Manager Brian Olney. “Do we replace it or can we rehabilitate it? And, is it better to outsource the work or do it in-house? These two questions saved our customers millions of dollars this year and are a good example of how we continuously look for ways to save our customers money.”

The Helix Water District uses ozone generators to reduce the use of chlorine as a primary disinfectant. Ozone inactivates a wide range of microorganisms, needs little contact time with the water, and it eliminates most of the odor and taste issues some people associate with tap water. Photo: Helix Water DIstrict ozone disinfection

The Helix Water District uses ozone generators to reduce the use of chlorine as a primary disinfectant. Ozone inactivates a wide range of microorganisms, needs little contact time with the water, and it eliminates most of the odor and taste issues some people associate with tap water. Photo: Helix Water District

Ozone Disinfection and Drinking Water

Water treatment is a multi-step process. First, organic material suspended in the water is removed. Water is then disinfected to remove or inactivate harmful microscopic organisms. Finally, the water is filtered.

Chlorine is the most widely used disinfectant at conventional water treatment plants. The Helix Water District uses ozone as its primary disinfectant, supplemented with chlorine. Ozone inactivates a wide range of microorganisms, needs little contact time with the water, and it eliminates most of the odor and taste issues some people associate with tap water. This mix maintains the quality of the water while it makes its way through the water distribution system.

The treatment plant uses an ozone generator, which produces ozone by applying high amounts of electricity to oxygen gas. The oxygen molecules (O2) split and regroup as ozone (O3). The ozone gas then bubbles up through the water to inactivate any microorganisms present.

Upgrading ozone generators with new technology

Helix maintenance staff worked closely with the manufacturer of its original ozone system installed in 2002. The same manufacturer supplied new hardware and electrical components required for the upgrade. The ozone disinfection system includes the gas feed systems, generators, power supply units, and the instrumentation hardware and software controlling the system.

The project began with a proof-of-concept pilot project two years ago. Once the methods were tested, each of the three ozone generators was upgraded with the new technology, then tested and commissioned.

In addition to the 70% estimated cost savings from the upgrade project, the improved efficiencies of the ozone generators will produce long-term cost savings.

The ozone generators and their power supply units are now fully upgraded thanks to the efforts of the Helix team. The last phase of the project is the replacement of the computer control system, which is scheduled for 2024.

(Editor’s Note: The Helix Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego region.)

Testing at the Source: California Readies a Groundbreaking Hunt to Check for Microplastics in Drinking Water

Tiny pieces of plastic shed from food wrappers, grocery bags, clothing, cigarette butts, tires and paint are invading the environment and every facet of daily life. Researchers know the plastic particles have even made it into municipal water supplies, but very little data exists about the scope of microplastic contamination in drinking water. After years of planning, California this year is embarking on a first-of-its-kind data-gathering mission to illuminate how prevalent microplastics are in the state’s largest drinking water sources and help regulators determine whether they are a public health threat.

Colorado OKs Drinking Treated Wastewater: Getting Over the ‘Ick Factor’

Colorado regulators, after years of study, negotiations and testing, approved a new rule that clears the way for drinking treated wastewater this week, one of only a handful of states in the country to do so.

The action came in a unanimous vote of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission Oct. 11.

Direct potable reuse (DPR) involves sophisticated filtering and disinfection of sewage water for drinking water purposes, with no environmental buffer, such as a wetland or river, between the wastewater treatment plant and drinking water treatment plant. That water is then sent out through the city’s drinking water system.