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volume 2 - resource management Strategies

Box 14-2 New Membrane Filtration Plant Application

The San Diego County Water Authority began operation of a new 100 million-gallon per day Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant, a membrane filtration surface water treatment plant, in April 2008—producing enough potable water to supply up to 220,000 typical four-person households each year. The treatment plant is one of the largest submerged membrane treatment plants in the world.

As new treatment technologies are introduced into the water industry, it must be verified that they reliably remove the targeted contaminants and incur only reasonable operating costs. CDPH has an extensive process for reviewing and accepting new treatment technologies proposed for use in California. The USEPA Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program also verifies the performance of innovative technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human health and the environment, thereby accelerating the entrance of new environmental technologies into the domestic and international marketplaces.

technology of membrane filtration is now common for new surface water treatment plants (Box 14-2).


Proposition 50 included grant funding under Chapter 6 for demonstration of desalination and new treatment technologies. Funds are available to local agencies, water districts, academic and research institutions. The Proposition 50 desalination funds are being used for construction, pilot and demonstration projects, research and development, and feasibility studies to increase new water supplies using desalinization. The projects funded include desalination facilities in Marin, Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties. Pilot projects in Long Beach, Santa Cruz, San Diego, and Los Angeles are among those that have received grants under the proposed funding plan. Research and development activities at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles, are included in the recommendations, as are feasibility studies by agencies in the Bay Area, Monterey, and Riverside County. Proposition 50 grant funding for demonstration of new treatment technologies includes the evaluation of tailored granular activated carbon in Redlands; concurrent removal of nitrate and Dibromochloropropane in the Central Valley; and removal of N-nitrosodimethylamine, endocrine disruptor chemicals, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products in South Delta Water; and a chromium 6 removal demonstration facility in Southern California.

New treatment technologies are often more energy-intensive than traditional water treatment processes, especially as we strive to reduce contaminants in treated drinking water. The Long Beach Water Department is undertaking a long-term study to evaluate the feasibility of desalination treatment with significantly lower energy consumption than typical reverse osmosis desalination (Box 14-3).


caLifoRnia WateR PLan | update 2009

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