The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) opened a newly completed Los Angeles Reservoir Ultraviolet Disinfection Plant (LARUVDP) in Granada Hills, a facility that can treat up to 650 million gallons of water per day — enough to fill the LA Memorial Coliseum more than twice over.
This is LADWP’s second UV disinfection facility and the last stop in the department’s complex network of water treatment processes at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant. This second UV facility supplements the existing Dr. Pankaj Parekh Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility, located in Sylmar, which treats water with ultraviolet light that has already undergone several treatments — including Fluoridation, Ozonation, and filtration — before it enters the LA Reservoir.
The latest UV plant treats the water with ultraviolet light once again, at the outlet of the Los Angeles Reservoir, before it enters LA’s water distribution pipes that transport water to LA’s homes and businesses.
“In Los Angeles we are taking action to become more resilient and prepared for the drought years that are happening with greater frequency due to climate change,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was joined by LA Council members John Lee and Mitch O’Farrell, and LADWP executives at the May 2 dedication.
“This state-of-the-art facility will ensure we continue delivering high quality water as our state experiences a third consecutive year of drought,” Garcetti said. “Los Angeles is ready to tackle this challenge head-on thanks to the tireless work and leadership of our Department of Water and Power.”
“The LA Reservoir UV Disinfection Plant Project is a critical step in ensuring that the water the Los Angeles Aqueduct provides to our region is clean and treated to the highest degree,” Lee said.
“Not many people think about the hard work that goes into getting high quality tap water into their home. Today, we get a chance to see part of that process, up close and personal. LADWP continues to demonstrate its dedication to ensuring the highest water quality for Angelenos with projects like this,” added O’Farrell.
LADWP Board Commissioner Nicole Neeman Brady said LA County residents “should be confident” about the water coming out of their faucets after it has been “put through rigorous treatment, testing, and monitoring.”
According to department Senior Assistant General Manager Anselmo Collins, “UV treatment is one of the most cost-effective methods available and has been identified by the EPA as one of the most effective purification methods” for water treatment.
“In combination with our Parekh Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility and the deployment of nearly 96 million shade balls on the surface of the Los Angeles Reservoir, this second LA Reservoir UV plant is just the latest investment we are making in the water we deliver to our customers,” Collins said.
Per regulation requirements, open reservoirs must be either covered, removed from service or incorporate additional treatment of water before it enters the distribution system.
The LARUVDP project complies with the requirements of the federal Environment Protection Agency’s Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment (LT2 Rule), which protects drinking water in open-air facilities from microbiological contamination, and the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule, which addresses risks from microbial pathogens and disinfectant byproducts.
The LARUVDP consists of a 30,000 square-foot structure that houses 15 UV reactors, intricate controls and mechanical systems and uninterruptable power supply units. The project also features over 50 large valves with varying sizes between 32 to 144 inches, a 3-leg flow control station, five seismic resiliency vaults and one 2,500-kilowatt diesel generator.
The approximately $123 million project was funded by two Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund awards. Based on the bond rate available at the time of project inception, the estimated total interest savings for LADWP ratepayers is close to $16.5 million.
“The Los Angeles Reservoir Ultraviolet Light Treatment Plant is a prime example of how we can leverage innovation, technology and strong funding partnerships to build infrastructure needed to secure a resilient water future,” said Sean Maguire, board member of the State Water Resources Control Board.
“As the drought continues and climate change intensifies, this facility will help ensure a safe drinking water supply for millions of people that rely on this facility every day. Last year’s historic federal infrastructure dollars and $5.2 billion in state water funding mean that we are well positioned to support many more critical projects like this that invest in our water infrastructure.”