The Long Beach Water Department remains committed to developing alternative sources of water to supplement precious imported potable water to meet the annual water demands our customers, particularly those using potable water primarily for industrial and irrigation operations.
In an effort to reduce our need to purchase increasingly expensive imported potable water and to further diversify the City's water supply reliability portfolio, the Long Beach Water Department is involved in one of the most aggressive recycled water system expansions found anywhere in Southern California.
Recycled water is produced by the Long Beach Water Reclamation Plant (LBWRP), which is owned and operated by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, in the eastern portion of the City. LBWRP treats 20,000 acre-feet per year, or 18 million gallons per day (MGD), of collected wastewater to meet stringent Title 22 requirements. One acre-foot is approximately 326,000 gallons. Processes used at this plant include primary sedimentation, sludge biological treatment, secondary sedimentation, coagulation, filtration, and chlorination. The treated water is separated into two streams. One stream, called "effluent," is dechlorinated and discharged to the Pacific Ocean. The second stream, called "reclaimed," is distributed for specified use by Long Beach recycled water customers.
Recycled water is used to irrigate city parks, golf course, cemeteries and athletic fields, replacing millions of gallons of imported potable water that would otherwise be used. In addition recycled water is quickly replacing use of potable water for industrial purposes. For example, 1,100 acre-feet of recycled water is used by THUMS Long Beach Company to repressurize offshore oil-bearing strata.
The Long Beach Water Department's recycled water expansion, when complete, will more than double recycled water use in Long Beach from 4,000 acre-feet to 9,000 acre-feet annually, eventually meeting 12 percent of the city's total water demand.