Dewane and OCWD Assistant General Manager Michael Wehner showed us around the treatment plant, where shiny stainless steel tubes and tanks fill several large buildings.
Microfiber membranes First, to filter out bacteria, particles and protozoa, the sewer water is forced by air pressure through a series of microfibers, straw-like plastic membranes, with holes so tiny you can't see them with the naked eye.
The next stop is a pump station.
said the pump station is "where the water that's been vacuumed through those hollow fibers is basically accumulated in a tank and transferred over to the reverse osmosis facility.
said reverse osmosis or "R-O" is the heart of the largest potable reuse facility in the world.
The water is pushed through plastic R-O membranes that remove nearly everything that isn't H2O.
The R-O process removes dissolved chemicals, pharmaceuticals and viruses.
"There is 70 million gallons a day of R-O capacity," said Wehner
, as he
pointed to hundreds of tubes.
"Each of these units represents five million gallons a day.
And you can see all of the units as you look across, you look at endless pressure vessels that hold these spiral wound R-O membranes.
The last step is to add peroxide (H2O2) to the water before it is sent through pipes where it is exposed to ultraviolet light that "kills anything that's alive," Wehner
The end result is distilled water.
"It's actually purer than any other source of water that we have to put into our groundwater basin," he
"The San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley have groundwater resources," said Wehner