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Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility - Phase V Expansion

Liquid Oxygen tanks and vaporizers for Ozone generation

Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility – Phase V Expansion, Los Angeles, CA

Reducing Dependence on Imported Water

West Basin Municipal Water District is a water wholesaler that provides imported and recycled water to 17 cities in the Los Angeles, California, region. Its Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo converts secondary effluent from the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant into ultra-high-quality recycled water for groundwater replenishment, injection into the seawater intrusion barrier, industrial use, irrigation, and other reuse purposes. To reduce dependence on imported water, West Basin increased the water recycling capacity of ECLWRF through its Phase V Expansion.

Parsons provided design, self-performed construction, construction quality control, permitting, control system integration, and startup and commissioning for ECLWRF’s Phase V Expansion, which added an innovative 30-million-gallons-per-day (MGD) capacity ozonation pretreatment process and expanded the existing microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet-advanced oxidation (UV-AOP) processes. Other improvements included a high-rate clarification expansion and the addition of solids-handling facilities. Together, these improvements increased the facility’s overall design capacity from 46.8 MGD to 62.3 MGD. This challenging design-build program was accomplished on a constrained site while the facility remained fully operational.

Ozone Degas-Defoam Basin with pipeworks and pumps

Ozone Degas-Defoam Basin with pipeworks and pumps

Designer Water

West Basin produces five qualities of “designer water”—custom-made recycled water that meets the unique needs of West Basin’s municipal, commercial, and industrial customers. ECLWRF produces four out of five qualities of designer water:

  • Ultra-pure RO water for refinery high-pressure boiler feed water.
  • Pure RO water for refinery low-pressure boiler feed water.
  • Softened RO water, which is secondary treated wastewater purified by MF followed by RO and disinfected by UV-AOP groundwater recharge.
  • Tertiary water (Title 22) for a wide variety of industrial and irrigation uses.

First Full-Scale Ozone Pretreatment in the United States

This project is the first full-scale application of ozone pretreatment for MF in the United States. A key benefit to this application is increasing the reliability and operability of the MF system. Prior to the Phase V expansion project, the MF membrane systems at the plant experienced rapid and severe fouling due to organic foulants in the non-nitrified secondary effluent water supply, and they required cleaning every 7 days instead of every 21 days per design. The ozone pretreatment breaks the organic foulants to pass through the MF system, which reduces the fouling rate. Therefore, MF membranes now require cleaning every 21 days per design, which extends the operational period between cleanings, improves reliability of the water supply, and reduces operation and maintenance costs for the MF system.

Accelerated Schedule, Active Facility, Compact Site

The primary challenges revolved around the need to deliver the work from design through construction and startup within 18 months while the facility remained in operation. In addition, this facility’s compact layout compounded the planning and impact of work performed on site—especially with respect to downtime or disruption to daily operations. With little storage capacity and ECLWRF’s industrial clients requiring a continuous water supply, the few shutdowns allowed were limited to hours rather than days. Constant cooperation limited the impact on operations and ensured successful performance of these highly managed, specific work sequences.

Because safety is always a top priority, Parsons developed the safety program Take 5 for Safety specifically for this project. This program increases onsite workers’ awareness of their surroundings and changing site conditions, and it informs visitors of site hazards and risks. This simple procedure added value for ECLWRF and now benefits other Parsons projects.

Stakeholder Engagement

The project’s extensive impact required meeting the concerns of several stakeholders, including the industrial end users and the agencies that oversee the seawater barrier. Through proactive communication strategies and stakeholder workshops early in the project, we established a collaborative, high-achieving environment for the entire team that continued through startup and commissioning. Our outreach also included extensive efforts to hire from within West Basin’s service area, focusing on small and minority-owned businesses and union labor.

The Phase V expansion is the largest recycled water construction contract in West Basin’s history and is a key part of its Water Reliability 2020 plan to double recycled water production by the year 2020. The recycled water produced at ECLWRF reduces dependence on imported water by conserving 34,000 acre-feet of water each year.

Parsons creates unique solutions for each project we perform, using the most technically feasible and economically practical solutions for our customers. Our expertise in water infrastructure projects contributes to a healthier, more sustainable world.