Tuesday July 9, 2024

Courthouse News Service via Maven’s Notebook

Can wastewater be made potable again on a mass scale? Water-district managers in California think so. At a wastewater treatment plant in Carson in the Los Angeles area, scientists and engineers have been fine-tuning their purification process since 2019.

The facility — known as the Grace F. Napolitano Pure Water Southern California Innovation Center — purifies 500,000 gallons of water each day with the goal of someday processing 300 times that amount, or 150 million gallons daily.

The project is still in the environmental planning and review phase, and for now the water is just for research — not drinking. But with construction on a permanent plant slated to begin as early as 2026, researchers here hope arid Southern California could soon be home to one of the biggest water-recycling operations in the world.

“We’re in the business of doing big projects,” Deven Upadhyay, interim general manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said in an interview. “We saw that in the future, we could not rely on an unsustainable supply of water.”

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