Brown and Caldwell, AECOM to support Pure Water Southern California program

May 11, 2023
The potable reuse program will help produce up to 150 million gallons of purified water per day for up to 15 million people Southern California.

A joint venture of AECOM and Brown and Caldwell (AECOM-BC Team) has been chosen to provide program and project management support and engineering design services for the Pure Water Southern California program, one of the largest water reuse programs in the world.

Anticipated for water delivery by 2032 and potentially earlier, the program will reuse the largest untapped wastewater source in the region that currently flows to the ocean to increase water resiliency, enhance water quality, and fuel economic growth. It will lower Southern California’s reliance on imported water supplies from the Colorado River and Sierra Nevada and replenish groundwater basins while leveraging cutting-edge research and development to increase regional water reuse.

The innovative program is being developed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (Sanitation Districts). It will produce up to 150 million gallons of high-quality, purified water per day for up to 15 million people.

Along with the partnership between Metropolitan and the Sanitation Districts, the venture also involves Metropolitan member agencies, groundwater basin managers, and water agencies in Arizona and Nevada, sharing the goal of creating a sustainable water future for California and the Southwest. The program will also receive $80 million in state funding.

“Despite the recent rainstorms and record levels of snowpack this past winter, we know we must adapt to the climate whiplash that is putting an incredible strain on all of our water resources,” said Adel Hagekhalil, Metropolitan general manager. “Together with investing in our water system, storage, conservation, and other local sources of supply, the Pure Water Southern California program will be pivotal in meeting future water demands while delivering a resilient water supply regardless of the weather.”

The AECOM-BC Team will lead environmental compliance efforts and the design and construction of advanced purification facilities at the Sanitation District’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP). The new facilities will incorporate a 3-step procedure to purify water, including membrane bioreactors, reverse osmosis, and an ultraviolet light/advanced oxidation process.

Up to 60 miles of new pipelines and associated pump stations will be designed and constructed to transport purified water from the JWPCP to the region’s groundwater basins, industrial facilities, and two of Metropolitan’s water treatment plants.

“We applaud Metropolitan and the Sanitation Districts for its unwavering commitment to strengthening water supply resiliency,” said Rich D’Amato, Brown and Caldwell’s CEO. “The AECOM-BC Team is proud to support this landmark program which represents a leap forward in water recycling technology and innovation for the benefit of communities for generations to come throughout the Colorado River Basin.”

The team is joined by 20 local, small, and minority firms that will deliver a range of services on behalf of the project.