On July 19th and 20th CWEA and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) co-hosted a series of technology presentations, featuring speakers from some of California’s leading water resource recovery agencies and private companies.
The workshops were so popular each location sold out quickly. The northern workshop was held at Central Sanitation District’s facility in Martinez and the southern event was hosted by the City of Los Angeles at the Hyperion Treatment Plant. The sell-out crowds underscore the growing popularity of resource recovery among California’s leading water utilities. The race to become the utility of the future has begun.
“These are exciting times with climate change regulations,” said workshop host Greg Kester while kicking off the Southern California event. “We can help the State meet their goals for greenhouse gas reductions with resource recovery… I think the pendulum is swinging back – people see biosolids as a resource once again.”
Mr. Kester is CASA’s Director of Renewable Resource Programs.
The most popular presentations according to an audience survey included:
- Update on demonstration project for co-digestion of pre-processed food waste at the Joint Plant of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County – Mark McDannel and Dave Czerniak, LACSD
- Wastewater Sectors role in organic waste infrastructure development – David Schneider and Peter Kistenmacher, Anaergia (Mr. Kistenmacher is Chair of CWEA’s Biosolids Committee)
- Pairing Organic waste sources with wastewater treatment mapping tool – Charlotte Ely, US EPA Region 9
A New Resource: The Water & Energy Sustainable Technology Center (WEST) at the University of Arizona
The first presentation of the day was given by Dr. Ian Pepper from the University of Arizona. Dr. Pepper provided an update on the University’s brand new water research facility. A partnership between the University, the local wastewater agency and several private companies.
The sprawling facility was purposely located right next to the Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility which opened in 2014.
Locating next to a wastewater treatment facility allows the research center to be directly inter-connected with pipelines that can pump in raw wastewater, cleaned effluent, reuse water or other types of wastewater depending on the type of research project.
The new center, dubbed WEST, consists of a large high-bay warehouse where demonstration treatment trains can be hauled in and assembled. The facility also houses the Arizona real-time sensor lab which is working on technologies to instantaneously monitor water quality. The facility also includes a state certified molecular microbiology laboratory. The facility costs $10 million to construct and was opened in 2014.
The goal of the WEST facility according to Dr. Pepper is to “develop, evaluate and demonstrate technologies that advance water and energy sustainable solutions.”
The facility has also set a goal of providing research and public information about recycled water. WEST will assist the Southwest region and the world by demonstrating the safety and reliability of recycled water.
The University of Arizona has over 400 faculty involved in water or wastewater topics. WEST will also serve as a training facility for local water and wastewater professionals, as well as provide modular short courses for water executives and utility personnel.
There were seven founding organizations for WEST and there are currently 12 partners. The cost of an organizational membership is between $15,000-$100,000 per year depending on the level chosen.