WRD collaborates with residents on major wastewater recycling project
At the beginning of June, more than 75 residents of Pico Rivera, Calif., reviewed a plan proposed by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California to build a major wastewater recycling facility in their city and suggested ways to improve the project.
|Participants in the GRIP Community Design Workshop sharing ideas for new WRD advanced water treatment facility in Pico Rivera, Calif.|
PICO RIVERA, CA, June 24, 2015 -- At the beginning of June, more than 75 residents of Pico Rivera, Calif., reviewed a plan proposed by the Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California to build a major wastewater recycling facility in their city and suggested ways to make the project aesthetically-pleasing as well as a venue for education programs and community events.
Located on a 5.2-acre site, the state-of-the-art treatment plant would purify billions of gallons of wastewater annually and use advanced treatment methods to recycle that water for groundwater replenishment. The meeting gave local residents an opportunity to share their views about how the facility should be designed and the types of community amenities that could be included in the project.
Pico Rivera Planning Commissioner Paul Gomez Gomez urged WRD to include instructional exhibits at the facility for school-age students to learn about the importance of water conservation and to make its public amenities as user-friendly as possible. Other design and amenity suggestions included Southwestern-style landscaping, adobe-like architecture, demonstration gardens, bathroom and drinking fountain facilities, a pet-friendly area, picnic tables, and a pedestrian bridge so local residents could easily and safely walk to the site.
WRD officials used the meeting to explain that the 45,000-square-foot water treatment facility that will occupy about a third of the 5.2-acre site is part of WRD's Groundwater Reliability Improvement Program (GRIP). Under that program, WRD will entirely use recycled wastewater to recharge the giant underground aquifers the agency manages. The groundwater pumped out of those aquifers by local water companies and municipalities provides about 40 percent of the water used by 4 million residents of South Los Angeles County.
Currently, about one third of the water WRD acquires to replenish the aquifers is imported from Northern California or the Colorado River. However, imported water is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to obtain -- conditions that have been aggravated by the state's drought, Whitaker explained. When the water treatment facility in Pico Rivera becomes fully operational, WRD will no longer have to acquire imported water to keep its aquifers full.
The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is the regional groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and quality of groundwater for two of the most utilized urban basins in the State of California. The service area is home to over 4 million residents, nearly half of Los Angeles County, across 43 cities. WRD is governed by a publicly elected Board of Directors which includes Willard H. Murray, Jr., Robert Katherman, Lynn Dymally, Sergio Calderon, and Albert Robles. For more information, visit www.wrd.org.