Yucaipa Valley Regional Brineline
In October 2012, Yucaipa Valley Water District completed construction of the Yucaipa Valley Regional Brineline. In order to produce recycled water that complies with regional groundwater basin objectives, the District is required to provide advanced water treatment, in the form of reverse osmosis (RO) prior to the use of this recycled water to the Yucaipa Management Zone. The long term management of our water resources requires the removal of salts and minerals from depositing into the groundwater basin. The reverse osmosis system produces salt water, referred to as “brine”, that must be sent to the Pacific Ocean so it does not impact any fresh water supplies.
The Yucaipa Valley Regional Brineline is a 15-mile pipeline through which the District can safely and effectively dispose of the salt water produced. This pipeline commences at the Wochholz Regional Water Recycling Facility in Calimesa and terminates at an existing brine disposal pipeline near Interstate 215 and I-10 Interchange. At this point the existing brineline extends another 73 miles traversing San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties to Orange County Sanitation District Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 2 in Huntington Beach, where the salt water is sent to the ocean.
Funding for the project was subsidized with funds from the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Department of Water Resources.
Wochholz Improved Salinity Effluent
In 2008, YVWD completed improvements to the Wochholz Regional Water Recycling Facility (WRWRF), an 8-mgd wastewater treatment facility that is used to provide treatment in compliance with federal and state regulations. The WRWRF currently treats municipal wastewater with an integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) process and then microfiltration for discharge to San Timoteo Creek.
YVWD has recently completed the construction of a 2.5 mgd Reverse Osmosis (RO) Treatment System at the Wochholz Facility. The RO system will allow the District to satisfy the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) requirements for TDS control in the San Timoteo Creek and Yucaipa Valley groundwater basin.
The WRWRF effluent consists of total dissolved solids in the range of 470 to 530 mg/L. The reverse osmosis system will reduce the TDS of effluent that is discharged to San Timoteo Creek or used as recycled water in the Yucaipa Groundwater Basin.
Salinity Concentrate Reduction and Minimization (SCRAM)
As part of an agreement with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), the Yucaipa Valley Water District has agreed to take measures to control salinity in the Yucaipa Groundwater Basin. A salinity of less than 320 mg/L satisfies the “anti-degradation” criteria established by the RWQCB for the Yucaipa Groundwater Basin. YVWD receives water from the State Water Project, the salinity of this water ranges from 250 mg/L to 400 mg/L TDS with current and average TDS concentration of approximately 320 mg/L.
YVWD’s current Nanofiltration (NF) water processing procedures also produces similar concentrations of TDS in the range of 500 mg/L. Thus, the flow and TDS associated with the NF system is a primary contributor of TDS to the Recycled Water system. The continued discharge of NF concentrate into the Districts Recycled Water supply is viewed as problematic as the TDS associated with the process stream affects the Districts ability to meet the salinity objectives established by the RWQCB.
In order to minimize the volume of concentrate and discharge, the District is installing a “second-stage” NF system, named the Salinity Concentrate Reduction and Minimization Project (SCRAM). This next phase of processing will increase the overall potable water efficiency of the water filtration facility by producing approximately 1 million gallons per day of additional potable drinking water.