News | April 12, 2014

Major Recycled Water Milestone Announced At Earth Day Celebration

Whittier, CA (Marketwired) - At today's Earth Day celebration hosted by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Grace Robinson Hyde, the Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Sanitation Districts, announced, "During this past year, for the first time ever, over 100,000 acre-feet of our recycled water was beneficially used." To help put this in perspective, this is enough water to meet the needs of over half a million people.

The Sanitation Districts have been supplementing the limited local water supplies with highly treated recycled water since 1962. The recycled water undergoes a multi-stage treatment process of sedimentation, biological oxidation, clarification, filtration, and disinfection. The end product, which is clear and odorless, is virtually indistinguishable from tap water and essentially meets drinking water standards.

Today, the Sanitation Districts produce more recycled water that is beneficially reused than any other single recycled water producer in the United States. The recycled water is being supplied to nearly 750 reuse sites throughout Los Angeles County. Much of it is used directly for urban landscape irrigation, agricultural irrigation, and for a variety of industrial processes. But the majority of the recycled water is used for the replenishment of the Central Basin groundwater aquifer. This aquifer supplies the metropolitan Los Angeles area with about 40 percent of its potable water needs.

Recycled water is inherently drought-proof. Although residents may cut back on their outside irrigation or take shorter showers, their necessary daily activities will still generate wastewater that will be converted by the Sanitation Districts into recycled water. Therefore, even during the most serious drought conditions, water agencies and cities that use the recycled water will have a guaranteed supply of water to help meet their needs. "The recent drought emergency declared by our Governor further accentuates the need to beneficially utilize the available recycled water supply," said Hyde.

An additional benefit to using locally produced recycled water is avoidance of the energy costs associated with pumping water from Northern California into the Los Angeles area. Each acre-foot used locally saves approximately 3,000 kilowatt-hours of energy and eliminates the greenhouse gasses that would have been generated from that energy production.

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County are a regional agency consisting of 23 independent special districts serving over 5.5 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. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County