Mar 06, 2019

Los Angeles Plans to Recycle 100% of the City’s Wastewater by 2035

The plan includes injecting treated wastewater into surrounding aquifers to bolster drinking water reserves

Los Angeles plans to use recycled wastewater to bolster groundwater reserves
Los Angeles plans to use recycled wastewater to bolster groundwater reserves

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced plans for Los Angeles to recycle 100% of its wastewater by 2035. The city plans to inject treated wastewater and captured storm water runoff into the San Fernando Valley Aquifer.

While recycling currently accounts for only 2% of the city’s water, the city aims to increase that figure to 35%. The involved upgrades at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, new groundwater wells and construction of a 15-mile pipeline with an estimated price tag of $8 billion.

“Conservation is about more than how we respond to a dry year—it should shape how we prepare our city for tomorrow,” Garcetti said. “Maximizing L.A.’s recycling capacity will increase the amount of water we source locally, and help to ensure that Angelenos can count on access to clean water for generations to come.”

According to The Los Angeles Times, the Hyperion plant, the largest treatment plant west of the Mississippi River, currently processes 81% of the city’s sewage and discharges and average of 190 million gpd into a 5-mile outfall pipe in Santa Monica Bay. The city aims to upgrade the plant with advanced treatment technology and pipe the purified water inland to inject it into aquifers.

"It is hard to overstate how important this announcement is for Los Angeles," said Council Member Mike Bonin. "This is a major milestone in our work to make Los Angeles a sustainable and resilient city, and it is just the latest example of how LA is continuing to demonstrate that big things can happen in big cities when we work together toward a sustainable future."

With the city’s commitment to 100% recycled water at all four of it’s treatment facilities by 2035, the L.A. Department of Water and Power hopes to source up to 70% of its water sustainably and locally in the future, according to a statement by the mayor and water department.