Technical Tours

Southern California is home to a large number of innovative water reuse projects. IWA Reuse 2017 provides a unique opportunity to tour some of these innovative facilities.

San Diego Area Tours

Saturday, July 22, 2017
08:30 – 15:00
Cost: $125
Developing Countries Cost: $65
Tour will depart from and return back to the Long Beach Convention Center.
Tour will include lunch.

Pure Water San Diego

STOP 1:  Pure Water San Diego – Demonstration Pure Water Facility Tour Experience

With little rain and limited local water supplies, San Diego depends on importing 85 percent of its water from the Colorado River and Northern California. Rising imported water costs, population growth and the ongoing drought threaten San Diego’s water reliability. To address these challenges, the City of San Diego is moving forward with Pure Water San Diego, a phased, multi-year program that will provide 1/3 of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035.

In an introductory presentation, guests will learn about San Diego’s water supply challenges and how water purification can provide a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective drinking water supply for San Diego. Guests will then take a guided walking tour through the demonstration Pure Water Facility, where proven technology is used to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water through ozonation, biological activated carbon, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light.

Tour participants will see the equipment and resulting purified water up close and have an opportunity to compare samples of purified, tap, bottled and recycled water. Finally, participants are offered to taste a sample of the purified water produced by the facility.


STOP 2: Padre Dam’s Advanced Water Purification Program and the Santee Lakes


Learn about the legacy as well as the future of recycled water in East San Diego County by visiting Padre Dam’s Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility.

LEARN why this project is needed

SEE first-hand how technology and state-of-the-art methods are being used to purify recycled water

DISCOVER the benefits of this potential new water supply

EXPERIENCE the acclaimed Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, recycled water resource

Padre Dam Municipal Water District has long been a national leader in recycling water. In the late 1950’s, Padre Dam began recycling water in Santee when the Ray Stoyer Water Reclamation Facility was constructed (now producing 2 million gallons of advanced tertiary treatment level water each day) providing water for Santee Lakes and for irrigation in the community. Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve enhances the community with a 190-acre park and campground offering camping, boating, fishing, outdoor recreation and special events. It is visited by more than 750,000 visitors each year.

Padre Dam imports 100 percent of its drinking water supply from the Sacramento Bay Delta and the Colorado River – hundreds of miles away. An exciting water recycling opportunity has been identified by Padre Dam that will diversify East San Diego County’s water supply and reduce dependency on imported water. The East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, sustainable and drought proof potable water supply using a four-step process of free chlorine disinfection, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to purify recycled water. This water reuse program would diversify East County’s water supply and reduce dependence on imported water. The full-scale program will produce approximately 25-30 percent of East County’s current drinking water demands.


The Water Replenishment District of Southern California — The Use of Recycled Water for Recharge in Urban Los Angeles County

Sunday, July 23, 2017
12:30 – 17:00
Cost: $75
Developing Countries Cost: $40
Tour will depart from and return back to the Long Beach Convention Center.
Tour will NOT include lunch.

WRD Tour for IWA 161116       WRD Tour for IWA 161116


Attendees will meet at a designated location near the Long Beach Convention Center. On the shuttle to Tour Stop 1, attendees will view a pre-tour orientation video to familiarize them to the region and to the concepts which will be covered throughout the tour. After Tour Stop 3, attendees will be provided with return transportation to the designated location near the Convention Center.

STOP 1: The Montebello Forebay Spreading Grounds

The Montebello Forebay Spreading Grounds are the largest engineered groundwater replenishment facility in the WRD service area. First constructed by Los Angeles County Flood Control District in the 1930s, today the spreading grounds consist of over 1,000 acres of land dedicated to managed aquifer recharge. Three types of water are diverted from the adjacent river channels into the spreading grounds for recharge, including stormwater, recycled water, and imported river water from northern California and the Colorado River.

Since WRD’s formation in 1959, over 7.5 million acre feet (MAF) of water has been replenished there, including 3.0 MAF of storm water, 2.5 MAF of imported water, and 2.0 MAF of recycled water. The spreading grounds were the first permitted recycled water recharge facility in the United States, and extensive studies have been conducted to show the water remains a safe,reliable, and economically beneficial replenishment water source. The WRD is currently underway on expanding the use of recycled water at the spreading grounds to completely replace the need for imported water by mid-2018.

STOP 2: Leo J. Vander Lans Water Treatment Facility 

The operations of Leo J. Vander Lans Water Treatment Facility (LVLWTF), located in the City of Long Beach, began in 2003 to replace up to 50 percent of the imported water for injection into the Alamitos Seawater Intrusion Barrier. The source water is tertiary treated reclaimed water supplied from the adjacent Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s Long Beach Water Reclamation Plant. The LVLWTF produces highly-purified recycled water through advanced treatment using microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet (UV) light with advanced oxidation. WRD expanded the LVLWTF’s capacity from 3 million gallons per day (mgd) to 8 mgd in 2015. With the plant expansion, WRD is able to increase its recycled water contribution to the Alamitos Barrier from 50 percent to virtually 100 percent, thereby, reducing and ultimately eliminating the need for imported water.

STOP 3: WateReuse Educational Reception at WRD Headquarters 

The final stop will bring tour attendees to the WRD Office in Lakewood for a reception and unique learning experience! The WRD Headquarters features educational exhibits on the history and practice of groundwater management and recharge within the WRD service area, which covers 43 cities and serves over 4 million people. The reception will also feature Water Reuse 101 educational materials and videos developed by the WateReuse Association. These resources serve as tools for advocates to educate constituencies and the public about the science and benefits of water reuse.

Los Angeles Area Tours

Thursday, July 27, 2017
08:30 – 16:00
Cost: $125
Developing Countries Cost: $65
Tour will depart from and return back to the Long Beach Convention Center.
Tour will include lunch.

hyperion plant 2         west basin edward c. little        hyperion plant

STOP 1: Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant (TIWRP)

TIWRP’s Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) has produced highly purified recycled water using MF and RO systems since 2002 for injection into the Dominguez Gap Barrier (DGB) to protect groundwater reservoirs from seawater intrusion.

The capacity of the AWPF is currently being expanded from 6 to 12 MGD with the new process equipment including additional MF and RO systems and an Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP). Completion of this expansion in December 2016 will allow continued recharging of the DGB with 100% recycled water, supply of water to the Machado Lake to replenish evaporation losses and providing a replacement to potable water for various Harbor-area industrial users for non-drinking purposes. The AWPF is owned and operated by Los Angeles Sanitation and partners in the project include Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, LA County and Water Replenishment District of Southern California. Attendees on this tour will see the expanded MF and RO systems and the new AOP system.

TIWRP is located approximately 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

STOP 2: City of Los Angeles’ Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion Treatment Plant

The Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion (ELC), operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works: Bureau of Sanitation (LA Sanitation), was created to bring textbook and classroom learning to life while showcasing the City’s commitment to protecting public health and the environment. The ELC is an engaging, interactive learning environment which not only explains sustainable principles for everyday life, but also demonstrates them. Hands-on exhibits demonstrate the future of clean water treatment and conservation, watershed protection and management of solid resources. Visitors are invited to partner with LA Sanitation to embrace environmental stewardship in their own lives. Located at Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (HWRP), guests can observe the important connection between municipal infrastructure and elements of the natural environment. HWRP has been operating since 1894 and provides full secondary treatment, biosolids handling and biogas generation.

STOP 3: West Basin Municipal Water District’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility Technical Tour

West Basin’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) receives secondary effluent from HTP and provides further treatment for beneficial reuse. The ECLWRF is the only treatment facility in the world to produce five different qualities of ‘designer’ recycled water to meet the needs of municipal, industrial and commercial customers: tertiary (Title 22) water for industrial and irrigation uses, nitrified water for cooling towers, softened reverse osmosis water for groundwater recharge, pure reverse osmosis water for low-pressure boiler feed, and ultra-pure reverse osmosis water for high-pressure boiler feed water at refineries. West Basin recently completed a Phase V expansion project which doubled the facility’s recycled water production capacity.

Orange County Tours

Thursday, July 27, 2017
08:30 – 16:00
Cost: $125
Developing Countries Cost: $65
Tour will depart from and return back to the Long Beach Convention Center.
Tour will include lunch.

STOP 1: Irvine Ranch Water District: Leading the Way in Water Recycling

The first stop on the tour will be at IRWD’s Michelson WRP.

Established in 1961, IRWD provides drinking water, waste water collection and treatment to produce recycled water. IRWD’s tertiary treatment of wastewater at its Michelson Water Recycling Plant (MWRP) results in an excellent quality of recycled water that is used for landscape and agricultural irrigation, and for industrial and commercial needs. IRWD’s proactive long-term planning identified the need to expand MWRP in order to meet the projected 56 percent increased recycled water demands by the year 2025.

In 1967 IRWD’s Michelson Water Recycling Plant began delivering approximately two million gallons per day (mgd) of tertiary-treated recycled water to agricultural users. Over the years IRWD’s water recycling program grew from this limited use to a nationally-recognized program that provides recycled water for a variety of other non-drinking water uses. IRWD service area continues to grow and the recycled water system must grow along with it.  By 2008, MWRP’s capacity had grown to 18 mgd.  Planners estimate that, when the service area reaches “final build out” in approximately 2025, a recycled water capacity of 33 million per day will be required to meet demands. A master plan was prepared to ensure that the plant will meet these requirements.

About 28 percent of IRWD’s current supply is recycled water, enough to provide landscape irrigation for 80 percent of the District’s business and community customers including parks, school grounds, and golf courses. Every gallon of recycled water used to irrigate crops or landscaping saves a gallon of drinking water, an equation that helps keep IRWD’s water rates among the lowest in Orange County. The MWRP Phase II Expansion has enabled IRWD to provide water to meet the future needs of our growing community, while decreasing IRWD’s dependence on imported drinking water.

STOP 2: Orange County Water District: World’s Largest Water Purification System for Potable Reuse

The second stop on this tour will be the Orange County Water District’s (OCWD) Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS).  The GWRS project takes highly treated wastewater that would have previously been discharged into the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced purification process consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide.  The process produces high-quality water that is superior to all state and federal drinking water standards and used for groundwater recharge and injection.

Operational since January 2008 and first expanded in 2015, this state-of-the art water purification project can currently produce up to 100 million gallons (265,000 cubic meters) of high-quality water every day.  This is enough water to meet the needs of nearly 850,000 residents in north and central Orange County, California.  The planning, design and construction of the GWRS project was jointly funded by the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District.  These two public agencies have worked cooperatively on water reuse for more than 40 years.  They are leading the way in water recycling and providing a locally-controlled, drought-proof, and reliable supply of high-quality water in an environmentally sensitive and economical manner.

The Orange County Water District has begun engineering design for the GWRS Final Expansion project, which will create an additional 30 million gallons per day of new water supplies to serve north and central Orange County and the total production to 134,000 acre feet per year (AFY).  Construction is currently expected to be completed by 2022.