Providing a reliable and cost-effective supply of high-quality water is a major component of the mission of Upper District.
Recycled water, which is abundantly available and cost-effective, is a key part of Upper District’s overall strategy of supplementing local water supplies. Recycled water is being used extensively throughout California to irrigate golf courses, parks, freeway landscaping and crops. It is also being used to replenish groundwater basins, to serve as a barrier to seawater intrusion and by industry for cooling processes and other purposes.
Pipes and other infrastructure carrying recycled water are colored purple to indicate the type of water carried through the pipes. Recycled Water preserves more expensive drinking water that currently is being used for irrigation, saving millions of dollars and billions of gallons of drinking water. Additional benefits flowing from our Recycled Water Project include:
Creating jobs and helping the local economy through the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the project and its subsequent phases
Reducing annual water costs by lowering the dependency on imported water
Protecting the aquatic habitats of the Sacramento Delta and Colorado River by reducing demand for imported water
Helping the environment by conserving electricity as well as minimizing related air pollution emissions by reducing demand on imported water supplies
Providing the San Gabriel Valley with a reliable local source of water supply for landscape and turf irrigation that is not affected by regional water supply shortages or drought conditions.
Upper District acquires recycled water from the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts’ Whittier Narrows Water Reclamation Facility and the San Jose Wastewater Treatment Plant. These facilities provide primary, secondary and tertiary treatment for up to 13 million gallons of wastewater per day. The recycled water quality exceeds the State of California Department of Health Services requirement for landscape and turf irrigation applications.
Our success in proactively advancing water recycling is largely attributable to the support of our partners. The United States Bureau of Reclamation, State Water Resources Control Board, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County and many others have contributed to the success of our water recycling program.
Recycled Water Program Current Projects
Upper District’s Whittier Narrows Water Recycling Project supplies the 2,500 acre Whittier Narrows Recreation Area with about 400 million gallons of recycled water each year. The recycled water provides irrigation for a large public park, soccer, baseball and softball fields as well as the 18-hole Whittier Narrows Golf Course.
South El Monte High School
In 2007, Upper District converted South El Monte High School to recycled water for irrigating campus green areas and athletic fields. Recycled water used at the high school conserves nearly 17 million gallons of drinking water each year, enough to supply about 100 households.
Rose Hills Memorial Park
In early 2006, Upper District converted Rose Hills Memorial Park (Rose Hills) to recycled water for irrigation purposes. Prior to using recycled water, Rose Hills used approximately 194 million gallons per year or about 500,000 gallons per day of drinking water for irrigation. By using recycled water, Rose Hills now saves enough drinking water in a year to supply about 1,200 average single-family homes. As part of this project, an additional 21 million gallons of recycled water per year are provided to Rio Hondo College, Mill Elementary School and Gateway Pointe Industrial Park for irrigation purposes.
Upper District assisted Rose Hills in obtaining $500,000 in Proposition 84 grant funds which are being used to expand the recycled water system and serve an additional 600 acre-feet per year. This effort will require Rose Hills to contribute $500,000 for the improvements needed which will be complete in 2016.
City of Industry
In 2010, Upper District’s City of Industry Water Recycling Project began providing recycled water for irrigation purposes by extending an existing recycled water pipeline, stretching from the City of Industry through Hacienda Heights, to West Covina. The project will supply more than 400 million gallons of recycled water per year for irrigation to a landfill, golf course, baseball complex, schools, parks, medians, and green belts in the San Gabriel Valley.
The San Gabriel Valley Water Recycling Project Phase IIA – Rosemead Extension consists of recycled water pipelines extending north and west from the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area to supply approximately 98 million gallons of recycled water per year to Southern California Edison corporate headquarters, Panda Express corporate headquarters, Walmart and several nurseries, schools, and businesses.