Southern California Water Recycling Project To Make History

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) has unanimously approved and signed an agreement with J.F. Shea Construction to build a $110 million state-of-the-art water treatment plant that will enable WRD to develop the first locally sustainable groundwater basins in California.

water treatment plant
WRD Board of Directors and J.F. Shea Construction sign the historic water project construction agreement. (Source: WRD)

“This is an exciting day,” said WRD Board of Directors President Willard H. Murray, Jr. “The Los Angeles region has a long and sometimes colorful history of importing water to quench our thirst. With this project WRD will be turning a corner in our water history. WRD’s future will be built on water recycling, drought-proofing our water supplies and ending our reliance on imported water. All these new developments will be great for rate-payers and for the environment.”

When the Groundwater Reliability Improvement Project (GRIP)/Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWTF) is completed in 2018, WRD’s two groundwater basins, the Central and West Coast Basins, will be exclusively replenished with captured stormwater and recycled water, much of which will be purified by the GRIP facility for safe and reliable groundwater replenishment.

GRIP will replace the need for 21,000 acre feet of water imported from Northern California and from the Colorado River to maintain water levels in the groundwater basins. With the GRIP/AWTF plant, water imports will no longer be necessary. Imported water is increasingly expensive and hard to acquire.

WRD groundwater supplies are the source of half of the water used by 4 million residents of south Los Angeles County who live in 43 cities.

The GRIP/AWTF plant, located in the City of Pico Rivera, will be the cornerstone of WRD’s Water Independence Now (WIN) program, a suite of water conservation efforts aimed at helping the District achieve complete independence from imported water, the cost and availability of which has been aggravated by the state’s continuing drought. In effect, the GRIP/AWTF project will provide residents of WRD’s service area with drought-protection. 

Construction of the GRIP/AWTF plant is scheduled to begin this coming fall. The facility is expected to be up and running by 2018. J.F. Shea Construction has built the largest wastewater recycling plant in the world and the largest desalinization plant in the Western Hemisphere.

“Our company has built some of the premier public works projects in California, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Boulder Dam and more recently the largest wastewater to drinkable water project in the nation,” said Peter Shea, Jr. President/CEO of J.F. Shea Company. “We’re proud and excited to be working with WRD on this project. The result is going to be terrific.”

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