Due to stressed water supplies, it is important for communities to increase water reliability by conserving water. Producing recycled water is one way that cities and water utilities in EWA’s service area are achieving this goal.
Recycled water, sometimes referred to as reclaimed water, is wastewater that has undergone tertiary treatment so that it can be used for irrigation or other non-potable uses. To produce recycled water, secondary treated effluent undergoes filtration (sand filtration or ultrafiltration) and chlorination.
Recycled Water Uses
The Encina Water Pollution Control Facility (EWPCF) produces over five million gallons per day (MGD) of recycled water onsite. This water is used in the plant and reduces the costs for potable water. Recycled water uses include: equipment washdown, cogeneration engine cooling, odor reduction and landscape irrigation.
Additional Reclamation Plants
There are three other reclamation plants operating in EWA’s service area:
Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility (CWRF)
EWA staff operates the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility (CWRF), which is located adjacent to the EWPCF and owned by the Carlsbad Municipal Water District. Secondary effluent from the EWPCF is diverted from the ocean outfall and delivered to the CWRF for further treatment. The CWRF, which began operation in 2005, can reclaim up to seven MGD of treated wastewater, which is supplied to the City of Carlsbad.
Gafner Water Reclamation Facility (GWRF)
The GWRF is owned and operated by the Leucadia Wastewater District. The plant takes treated effluent from the EWPCF and can produce one MGD of recycled water, which is used for irrigating the La Costa Golf Course.
Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility (MWRF)
The MWRF is owned and operated by the Vallecitos Water District. The plant collects untreated wastewater from its service area and can produce up to five MGD of reclaimed water, which is used by the City of Carlsbad and Olivenhain Municipal Water District.
Water Reuse Feasibility Study
EWA is considering opportunities to increase the reuse of its effluent, including the feasibility of a potable reuse project. EWA Water Reuse Feasibility Study Final Report, July 2018.