Water Industry News

Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility Awarded Plant of the Year  

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility added another honor to its collection. The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) selected this "exceptional" facility as the 2014 Plant of the Year Award for Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. It is now in the running for plant of the year for the state of California.

The Facility was recognized by CWEA for its "outstanding achievements within the water environment field," specifically noting its award-winning efficient design, commitment to process efficiency, and exceptionally high quality effluent.

The City's original facility was constructed in 1939 and no longer met the water quality standards established by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Accumulating more than $8 million in fines, the City needed a new facility expeditiously and economically in order to waive the fines. They selected the Alinda Capital Partners and PERC Water Corporation team that utilized private sources of funding to fund the design and construction of the new Facility. Construction began in July 2008, and the Facility began treating the city's wastewater in May 2010, seven months ahead of the city's compliance deadline.

The majority of the wastewater treatment at the Facility occurs in enclosed underground tanks with the operations buildings, offices, laboratory, etc. constructed above the tanks. As a result, the footprint of the Facility is 70% smaller than the city had planned for, has 25% more treatment capacity, and produces significantly less noise and odors than typical conventional wastewater facilities.

The Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility has been cited by industry experts as one of the most cost-effective MBR systems in the world due to designs that focused heavily on reducing power consumption. This was achieved by selecting energy efficient equipment and a more efficient sequence of process operations. Additionally, the office buildings use a combination of natural lighting and sensor-driven fluorescent lighting that exceeds the California Title 24 standards for energy efficiency. This combination of design and operational efficiency has resulted in energy consumption that is 30% lower than PERC Water's performance guarantee. The cost savings due to reduced power consumption are shared with the City of Santa Paula. 

The effluent produced by the Facility has consistently surpassed permit requirements since operation commenced nearly five years ago. The Facility routinely removes more than 99% of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS), and reduces the nitrogen content of the wastewater by more than 90%. The final effluent is disinfected using ultraviolet light prior to discharge into percolation basins that aid in recharging groundwater.

PERC Water, the firm responsible for the design, construction and operations of the Facility, is a water-recycling firm committed to serving communities and the environment. These efforts have not gone unnoticed, as the Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility has received multiple accolades from The Environmental Business Journal, the Design-Build Institute of America and Global Water Intelligence for its innovative approaches to water recycling. For more information, visit www.percwater.com.