The Central Basin Recycled Water Program delivers approximately 5,500 acre feet of recycled water or 1.8 million gallons of recycled water. The District’s Recycled Water System is comprised of two distribution systems, four pump stations and over 80 miles of purple mainlines and smaller pipelines.
Established in the early 1990s, the recycled water distribution system was separated into two projects, the Century System and the Rio Hondo System. The Century System was built in 1992 to service the cities of Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Norwalk, Paramount, South Gate, and Vernon. Two years later in 1994, Central Basin expanded with the Rio Hondo System. The Rio Hondo System serves the cities of Pico Rivera, Montebello, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier. These distribution systems are responsible for the delivering treated recycled water to sites such as parks, schools and businesses.
The water that travels through the Central Basin distribution system is obtained from two sources: the San Jose Creek Water Reclamation Plant located in the City of Whittier and the Los Coyotes Water Reclamation Plant, located in the City of Cerritos. These reclamation plants are operated by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.
After traveling through Central Basin’s distribution system, the treated water reaches three of the District’s four pump stations; they include: the Rio Hondo Pump Station in the City of Pico Rivera, the Cudahy Pump Station in the City of Cudahy, and the Cerritos Pump Station in the City of Cerritos. Central Basin owns all pump stations with the exception of the Cerritos Pump Station, which is owned by the city.
The pump stations contain pumping equipment and controls, as well as pumps. For example, the Rio Hondo Pump Station has four pumps that have different pumping capacities. The District alternates larger pumps in and out of service to increase the life of the pumps and to save energy.
Other equipment housed in the pump station include:
- Hydropneumatic Tank which contains pressurized air and water. The tank helps deliver water within a selective pressure range and minimizes pressure surges, also known as water hammer.
- Programmable Logic Controller is a large computer that monitors the state of the equipment in the pump station and the current conditions for recycled water demands.
- Variable Frequency Drives is a type of motor controller that varies the frequency supplied to the pump motor. Frequency is related to the motor speed, for instance, the faster the pump motor, the faster the frequency. A variable frequency drive can tell a pump motor to slow down or speed up; this in turn helps save energy and is more efficient.
- Chemical Facility that injects a disinfectant into the recycled water to ensure it maintains a high quality.