Topic: Wastewater

Overview

Wastewater

Water containing wastes – aka wastewater – from residential, commercial and industrial processes requires treatment to remove pollutants prior to discharge. After treatment, the water is suitable for nonconsumption (nonpotable) and even potable use.

In California, water recycling is a critical component of the state’s efforts to use water supplies more efficiently. The state presently recycling about 669,000 acre-feet of water per year and has the potential to reuse an additional two million acre-feet per year. 

Non-potable uses include:

  • landscape and crop irrigation
  • stream and wetlands enhancement
  • industrial processes
  • recreational lakes, fountains and decorative ponds
  •  toilet flushing and gray water applications
  •  as a barrier to protect groundwater supplies from seawater intrusion
  • wetland habitat creation, restoration, and maintenance
  • groundwater recharge
Aquafornia news Phys.org

Tijuana sewage spill shutters Imperial Beach and Coronado shorelines, yet again

Adam Wraight pulled a blue sewage “warning” sign out of the sand near Imperial Beach Pier on Thursday morning, replacing it with the more ominous yellow and red placard telling beachgoers that waters were officially closed. … Shorelines from the border up through Coronado were closed to swimming Thursday as the result of a pipeline that ruptured in Tijuana near Smuggler’s Gulch over the weekend. Sewage has been spilling over the border into the river’s estuary for days, but it’s just now making its way to the ocean and floating up the coast on surging northward currents.

Aquafornia news Stanford News

New research: Stanford-based initiative WastewaterSCAN will monitor wastewater for COVID-19, monkeypox, influenza A, and RSV genetic markers to help guide public health responses

Researchers at Stanford University and Emory University have launched a nationwide initiative to monitor monkeypox, COVID-19, and other infectious diseases in communities by measuring viral genetic material in wastewater. The effort will also provide health officials and the public with free, high-quality data, which is critical to informing public health decision making. The initiative is already producing data, including the first detections of monkeypox DNA in wastewater in the United States.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am asks community for input on Monterey Peninsula water project

Monterey Peninsula residents will have the opportunity to share their perspectives and give feedback on local water issues next week. California American Water will host a community forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at CSU Monterey Bay. Cal Am staff, engineers, consultants and customer service representatives will be in attendance to discuss water resources. One of the main topics up for discussion at next week’s forum will be the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project — a proposed solution to the water crisis on the Peninsula. The project aims to reduce existing water use on the Peninsula by replacing reliance on the Carmel River. 

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Lots of Tijuana’s sewage is crossing the border right now. Here’s why

Federal officials crossed the border Tuesday morning to assess the damage from the latest sewage disaster on the Baja side. The good news is that Tijuana isn’t currently pumping sewage to a broken wastewater treatment plant called Punta Bandera that effectively spills it, untreated, straight into the Pacific Ocean. The bad news is, that’s because at least one of a critical set of pipes that gets it there is completely busted in half. The other is precariously perched atop a crumbling cliff face. That means a lot of the sewage that would otherwise be flushed into the sea about six miles south of the border is making its way into the Tijuana River. The river’s mouth empties into the ocean just below the city of Imperial Beach….

Related article:

Aquafornia news Spectrum News 1

California spares coastal power plant owner from fines

The owner of an aging gas-fired power plant along California’s southern coast won’t be required to pay fines for some water pollution it causes through 2023, state water officials voted Tuesday. The Redondo Beach Generating Station is one of four coastal power plants that were set to close in 2020 but had their operating lives extended to 2023. The state is keeping them open in an effort to avoid power blackouts on hot summer days when there may not be enough renewable energy available as people crank up their air conditioners.

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Settlement blocks planned federal fracking leases in California

Leasing for new oil and gas drilling on federal land in central California is temporarily blocked under a settlement announced Monday between the state and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. … Fracking is the process of injecting a high-pressure mix of mostly water with some sand and chemical additives into rock to create or expand fractures that allow oil and gas to be extracted. It’s a controversial practice due to concerns about the injected chemicals contaminating groundwater.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news GV Wire

Fresno County residents can get up to $2k for overdue water bills

A new Fresno EOC program is offering as much as $2,000 to help low-income residents pay past-due water and sewer bills. But you need to act quickly to receive the one-time grants, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The program ends in August 2023. Fresno EOC officials say the grants are for households that are in danger of losing or have lost their water services. According to the State Water Resources Control Board, about half a million Californians have had water shutoffs since 2019 due to nonpayment.

Aquafornia news KGET 17 - Bakersfield

The nation’s first environmental law resulted from destructive California mining operations

California’s Gold Rush is known for making many people rich and inflating the population of the then-young state, but it also resulted in the creation of the nation’s first environmental law. As gold mining went from individuals with gold pans raking the bottom of creek beds to industries using the latest technologies to strip precious ores from California’s hillsides, the impact on the surrounding environment became more severe. Hydraulic mining was a growing form of industrial mining, in which high-pressure water would blast out of water cannons, known as monitors, into hillsides to wash away dirt and rocks to uncover the gold beneath.

Aquafornia news American Society of Civil Engineers

Report cites ways to extend California’s urban water supplies

With California in the grip of yet another severe drought, water managers across the Golden State must find ways to protect and conserve existing supplies as much as possible. Against this backdrop, the advocacy organization the Pacific Institute estimated in a recent report the extent to which increased water-efficiency measures could reduce California’s urban water use. The organization also has quantified the potential boost to local water supplies from expanded water reuse and stormwater capture efforts in the state. 

Aquafornia news Bay City News

Sunol sand-mining company Mission Valley Rock agrees to pay Water Resources Control Board fine

A company operating a sand-mining facility in Alameda County will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle charges that it discharged untreated wastewater into Alameda Creek last year, officials with the state Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) said Thursday. Mission Valley Rock must pay nearly the statutory limit after it allegedly discharged 41,000 gallons of untreated wastewater from its Sunol facility in March. The total settlement is $368,940. According to the WRCB, Mission Valley Rock failed to properly decommission a pipeline, which then ruptured, depositing several inches of sediment in the creek bed and along the bank. 

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

‘Keep Our Waters Clean’ campaign kicks off to protect rivers

Boaters and river users are being asked to help keep our area waterways clean during these hot months. The city of Sacramento is kicking off its annual “Keep Our Waters Clean” campaign to help protect the Sacramento and American Rivers. The two rivers are the primary drinking water source for the region. The department is asking boaters to keep engine oil and fuel out of the water and keep boat bilges clean of contamination as well. Anyone on or along the river is also asked to use restrooms and pick up after pets to keep human and animal waste out of the water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles has plans to put recycled water in your tap

Water has always been recycled. The water molecules in your shower or cup of coffee might just be the same molecules that rained on dinosaurs more than 65 million years ago. With the technological advancements in water recycling, however, the water that went down your sink this morning might be back in your tap sooner than you think. The city of Los Angeles and agencies across Southern California are looking into what’s known as “direct potable reuse,” which means putting purified recycled water directly back into our drinking water systems. …. Their efforts hinge on the State Water Resources Control Board, which has been tasked by legislators to develop a set of uniform regulations on direct potable reuse by Dec. 31, 2023.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

East Bay MUD to pay $816,000 penalty for releasing 16 million gallons of partially treated sewage into San Francisco Bay

The heavy storms that soaked the Bay Area last October ended fire season and brought hope — dashed during dry winter months later — that the state’s drought might be ending. But while millions of people were celebrating the downpour the week before Halloween, the rains also caused an environmental headache in the East Bay, overwhelming a wastewater treatment plant and sending 16.5 million gallons of partially treated sewage into San Francisco Bay. On Monday, state regulators and the East Bay Municipal Utility District, a government agency that operates the plant at Point Isabel in Richmond, agreed to settle the case in a deal that requires the district to pay $816,000 for violations of clean water rules.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wastewater recycling provides hedge against drought

When it comes to slaking Southern California’s colossal thirst for water, more and more local governments are searching their own sewer lines for a solution. In the face of dire drought, cities and water agencies are now investing heavily in large-scale wastewater recycling facilities — systems that will purify the billions of gallons of treated sewage that are currently flushed out to sea. Among the massive water recycling initiatives now under development in Los Angeles County are a $3.4-billion plant at the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson and Operation Next — a roughly $16-billion plan from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to purify up to 100% of the wastewater processed by the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and put it to good use.

Aquafornia news Fronteras

Gray water’s untapped potential is clouded by complexity

Every day, Arizonans dump a small flood of drinking water down the drain, whether by running the shower or washing their clothes. It seems like an untapped reservoir for water conservation: Unlike “black water” — from sewage, kitchen sinks and dishwashers — much of the “gray water” from clothes washers, bathtubs, showers or sinks remains clean enough for other household uses. … Although the state has some loose guidelines for gray water systems, homeowners can install them with little or no oversight …

Aquafornia news East County Magazine

AWP proceeds with effort to take San Diego’s pump station

The agency managing the East County Advanced Water Purification (AWP) program took another step toward legally confiscating a sewage pumping station that now belongs to the city of San Diego. Earlier this month, the Joint Powers Authority for AWP filed a complaint in San Diego Superior Court asking the court to grant the JPA eminent domain rights for the station, located at the western border of Santee, on Mission Gorge Road next to the west-bound ramp for SR 52. 

Aquafornia news Pleasanton Weekly

Sunol: Sand mining outfit fined for releasing untreated wastewater into Alameda Creek

A company operating a sand mining facility in Alameda County must pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle allegations it discharged untreated wastewater into Alameda Creek last year, officials with the State Water Resources Control Board said Thursday. Mission Valley Rock Company must pay nearly the statutory limit after it allegedly discharged 41,000 gallons of untreated wastewater from its Sunol facility in March 2021.

Aquafornia news UC Davis

New research: Balancing protein in your diet could improve water quality

Balancing how much protein you eat with the amount your body needs could reduce nitrogen releases to aquatic systems in the U.S. by 12% and overall nitrogen losses to air and water by 4%, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. Protein consumption in the United States, from both plant and animal sources, ranks among the highest in the world. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, said that if Americans ate protein at recommended amounts, projected nitrogen excretion rates in 2055 would be 27% less than they are today despite population growth.  

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

East County’s $950M water recycling project could be in jeopardy as San Diego nixes pipeline deal

East County officials fear a $950 million sewage recycling project could get flushed down the drain because of a pipeline deal gone awry. Leaders spearheading the endeavor blame San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria — who signed off on building an eight-mile “brine line” as recently as last year but has since reneged on that commitment. The pipeline would prevent concentrated waste generated by the East County project’s reverse osmosis filtration system from entering into the city’s own $5 billion Pure Water sewage recycling project now under construction. 

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Nevada state commission affirms environmental permit for Thacker Pass lithium mine

In a hearing Tuesday, the State Environmental Commission affirmed a contested water pollution control permit for the Thacker Pass lithium mine, a procedural step forward for a project that has faced concerns from several environmental groups, Native American tribes and local ranchers. The state permit, issued by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection in February, would allow the mine to proceed if it meets certain requirements. Among those requirements are measures to prevent tailings, the byproducts of ore, from contaminating the environment, should water seep through the waste materials, which will contain chemicals used to process and extract lithium. 

Aquafornia news LAist

Morning brief: Recycled wastewater, eco-friendly city vehicles, green schoolyard update

I’ve got a question for you: would you drink sewer water? Yeah, I’m not sure I would. But recycled wastewater might be in all our futures. To understand why, my colleague Erin Stone has a pretty enlightening story you need to read. We all know California has a water problem. The Colorado River, where we get most of our water in Southern California, is going through a “megadrought,” the worst in 1,200 years. Greenhouse gases just make it worse. As temperatures rise, less snow falls. That means there’s less snow melt to fill up our rivers and reservoirs. 

Aquafornia news Mother Jones

This Democrat wrote a water recycling law. It could benefit her financially

As a member of Congress from the nation’s driest state, Rep. Susie Lee has a major stake in the health of the Colorado River Basin, which is currently enduring historic drought. … In office, Lee has pushed for federal funding for an array of “common-sense solutions” to the crisis—including water recycling … Last year, she authored a measure that will make hundreds of millions of dollars available for water recycling projects. But Lee’s interest in this issue appears to be more than simply political. The two-term Democrat also has a portion of her considerable personal wealth invested in a company that stands to benefit from the water recycling legislation she has championed. 

Aquafornia news Business Wire

News release: Future of recycled water in Southern California gets a new name – Pure Water Southern California

A new, large-scale local water supply in development for the region is getting a new name – Pure Water Southern California. The water recycling project, being developed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (Sanitation Districts), has for years been known as the Regional Recycled Water Program. … The project will take cleaned wastewater and purify it to produce a new, drought-proof source of high-quality water for Southern California. When completed, it will produce up to 150 million gallons of water daily, enough to serve more than 500,000 homes – making it one of the largest water recycling facilities in the world. 

As Drought Shrinks the Colorado River, A SoCal Giant Seeks Help from River Partners to Fortify its Local Supply
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Metropolitan Water District's wastewater recycling project draws support from Arizona and Nevada, which hope to gain a share of Metropolitan's river supply

Metropolitan Water District's advanced water treatment demonstration plant in Carson. Momentum is building for a unique interstate deal that aims to transform wastewater from Southern California homes and business into relief for the stressed Colorado River. The collaborative effort to add resiliency to a river suffering from overuse, drought and climate change is being shaped across state lines by some of the West’s largest water agencies.  

New EPA Regional Administrator Tackles Water Needs with a Wealth of Experience and $1 Billion in Federal Funding
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Martha Guzman says surge of federal dollars offers 'greatest opportunity' to address longstanding water needs, including for tribes & disadvantaged communities in EPA Region 9

EPA Region 9 Administrator Martha Guzman.Martha Guzman recalls those awful days working on water and other issues as a deputy legislative secretary for then-Gov. Jerry Brown. California was mired in a recession and the state’s finances were deep in the red. Parks were cut, schools were cut, programs were cut to try to balance a troubled state budget in what she remembers as “that terrible time.”

She now finds herself in a strikingly different position: As administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9, she has a mandate to address water challenges across California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii and $1 billion to help pay for it. It is the kind of funding, she said, that is usually spread out over a decade. Guzman called it the “absolutely greatest opportunity.”

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Douglas E. Beeman

Water Resource Innovation, Hard-Earned Lessons and Colorado River Challenges — Western Water Year in Review
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK-Our 2019 articles spanned the gamut from groundwater sustainability and drought resiliency to collaboration and innovation

Smoke from the 2018 Camp Fire as viewed from Lake Oroville in Northern California. Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. 

These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Often Short of Water, California’s Southern Central Coast Builds Toward A Drought-Proof Supply
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Water agencies in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties look to seawater, recycled water to protect against water shortages

The spillway at Lake Cachuma in central Santa Barbara County. Drought in 2016 plunged its storage to about 8 percent of capacity.The southern part of California’s Central Coast from San Luis Obispo County to Ventura County, home to about 1.5 million people, is blessed with a pleasing Mediterranean climate and a picturesque terrain. Yet while its unique geography abounds in beauty, the area perpetually struggles with drought.

Indeed, while the rest of California breathed a sigh of relief with the return of wet weather after the severe drought of 2012–2016, places such as Santa Barbara still grappled with dry conditions.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

A Study of Microplastics in San Francisco Bay Could Help Cleanup Strategies Elsewhere
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Debris from plastics and tires is showing up in Bay waters; state drafting microplastics plan for drinking water

Plastic trash and microplastics can get washed into stormwater systems that eventually empty into waterways. Blasted by sun and beaten by waves, plastic bottles and bags shed fibers and tiny flecks of microplastic debris that litter the San Francisco Bay where they can choke the marine life that inadvertently consumes it.

A collaborative effort of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, The 5 Gyre InstituteSan Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and the regulated discharger community that aims to better understand the problem and assess how to manage it in the San Francisco Bay is nearing the end of a three-year study.

Western Water California Water Map

Your Don’t-Miss Roundup of Summer Reading From Western Water

Dear Western Water reader, 

Clockwise, from top: Lake Powell, on a drought-stressed Colorado River; Subsidence-affected bridge over the Friant-Kern Canal in the San Joaquin Valley;  A homeless camp along the Sacramento River near Old Town Sacramento; Water from a desalination plant in Southern California.Summer is a good time to take a break, relax and enjoy some of the great beaches, waterways and watersheds around California and the West. We hope you’re getting a chance to do plenty of that this July.

But in the weekly sprint through work, it’s easy to miss some interesting nuggets you might want to read. So while we’re taking a publishing break to work on other water articles planned for later this year, we want to help you catch up on Western Water stories from the first half of this year that you might have missed. 

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Can Providing Bathrooms to Homeless Protect California’s Water Quality?
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: The connection between homelessness and water is gaining attention under California human right to water law and water quality concerns

A homeless camp set up along the Sacramento River near downtown Sacramento. Each day, people living on the streets and camping along waterways across California face the same struggle – finding clean drinking water and a place to wash and go to the bathroom.

Some find friendly businesses willing to help, or public restrooms and drinking water fountains. Yet for many homeless people, accessing the water and sanitation that most people take for granted remains a daily struggle.

Western Water Layperson's Guide to California Wastewater Gary Pitzer

As Californians Save More Water, Their Sewers Get Less and That’s a Problem
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Lower flows damage equipment, concentrate waste and stink up neighborhoods; should water conservation focus shift outdoors?

Corrosion is evident in this wastewater pipe from Los Angeles County.Californians have been doing an exceptional job reducing their indoor water use, helping the state survive the most recent drought when water districts were required to meet conservation targets. With more droughts inevitable, Californians are likely to face even greater calls to save water in the future.

Western Water Colorado River Basin Map Gary Pitzer

‘Mission-Oriented’ Colorado River Veteran Takes the Helm as the US Commissioner of IBWC
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Jayne Harkins’ duties include collaboration with Mexico on Colorado River supply, water quality issues

Jayne Harkins, the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission.For the bulk of her career, Jayne Harkins has devoted her energy to issues associated with the management of the Colorado River, both with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and with the Colorado River Commission of Nevada.

Now her career is taking a different direction. Harkins, 58, was appointed by President Trump last August to take the helm of the United States section of the U.S.-Mexico agency that oversees myriad water matters between the two countries as they seek to sustainably manage the supply and water quality of the Colorado River, including its once-thriving Delta in Mexico, and other rivers the two countries share. She is the first woman to be named the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission for either the United States or Mexico in the commission’s 129-year history.

Western Water California Groundwater Map Layperson's Guide to Flood Management Gary Pitzer

Southern California Water Providers Think Local in Seeking to Expand Supplies
WESTERN WATER SIDEBAR: Los Angeles and San Diego among agencies pursuing more diverse water portfolio beyond imports

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad last December marked 40 billion gallons of drinking water delivered to San Diego County during its first three years of operation. The desalination plant provides the county with more than 50 million gallons of water each day.Although Santa Monica may be the most aggressive Southern California water provider to wean itself from imported supplies, it is hardly the only one looking to remake its water portfolio.

In Los Angeles, a city of about 4 million people, efforts are underway to dramatically slash purchases of imported water while boosting the amount from recycling, stormwater capture, groundwater cleanup and conservation. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 announced a plan to reduce the city’s purchase of imported water from Metropolitan Water District by one-half by 2025 and to provide one-half of the city’s supply from local sources by 2035. (The city considers its Eastern Sierra supplies as imported water.)

Western Water Groundwater Education Bundle Gary Pitzer

Imported Water Built Southern California; Now Santa Monica Aims To Wean Itself Off That Supply
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: Santa Monica is tapping groundwater, rainwater and tighter consumption rules to bring local supply and demand into balance

The Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF) treats dry weather urban runoff to remove pollutants such as sediment, oil, grease, and pathogens for nonpotable use.Imported water from the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado River built Southern California. Yet as drought, climate change and environmental concerns render those supplies increasingly at risk, the Southland’s cities have ramped up their efforts to rely more on local sources and less on imported water.

Far and away the most ambitious goal has been set by the city of Santa Monica, which in 2014 embarked on a course to be virtually water independent through local sources by 2023. In the 1990s, Santa Monica was completely dependent on imported water. Now, it derives more than 70 percent of its water locally.

Aquapedia background

Septic Systems

In rural areas with widely dispersed houses, reliance upon a centralized sewer system is not practical compared to individual wastewater treatment methods. These on-site management facilities – or septic systems – are more commonplace given their simpler structure, efficiency and easy maintenance.

Aquapedia background

Microplastics

Microplastics – plastic debris measuring less than 5 millimeters – are an increasing water quality concern.  Entering the water as industrial microbeads or as larger plastic litter that degrade into small pellets, microplastics come from a variety of consumer products.

Aquapedia background

Coliform Bacteria

Coliform Bacteria as Indices

Directly detecting harmful pathogens in water can be expensive, unreliable and incredibly complicated. Fortunately, certain organisms are known to consistently coexist with these harmful microbes which are substantially easier to detect and culture: coliform bacteria. These generally non-toxic organisms are frequently used as “indicator species,” or organisms whose presence demonstrates a particular feature of its surrounding environment.

Aquapedia background

Biochemical Oxygen Demand

The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of water determines the impact of decaying matter on species in a specific ecosystem. Sampling for BOD tests how much oxygen is needed by bacteria to break down the organic matter.

Aquapedia background

Point Source vs. Nonpoint Source Pollution

Point Source Pollution

Point sources release pollutants from discrete conveyances, such as a discharge pipe, and are regulated by federal and state agencies. The main point source dischargers are factories and sewage treatment plants, which release treated wastewater.

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Wastewater
Published 2013

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to California Wastewater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the history of wastewater treatment and how wastewater is collected, conveyed, treated and disposed of today. The guide also offers case studies of different treatment plants and their treatment processes.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Aquapedia background Layperson's Guide to California Wastewater

Wastewater Treatment Process in California

Wastewater management in California centers on the collection, conveyance, treatment, reuse and disposal of wastewater. This process is conducted largely by public agencies, though there are also private systems in places where a publicly owned treatment plant is not feasible.

In California, wastewater treatment takes place through 100,000 miles of sanitary sewer lines and at more than 900 wastewater treatment plants that manage the roughly 4 billion gallons of wastewater generated in the state each day.

Western Water Magazine

A Drought-Proof Supply: The Promise of Recycled Water
July/August 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines recycled water – its use, the ongoing issues and the prospects it holds for extending water supplies.