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Using Advanced Water Treatment Facility to Replenish Central Groundwater Basin

Pico Rivera, CA, USA

Government Champion



107 Million USD
8 Million USD

Project Status

In Progress/Under Construction since 2021

At a Glance

GRIP Advanced Water Treatment Facility will purify ~9 million gallons of water daily to replenish groundwater aquifers in Los Angeles, replacing use of expensive imported water. The innovative design will include a learning center, operations building, and on-site stormwater capture features and native landscaping

Problem Addressed

WRD manages groundwater in two basins with over 4 million residents. Groundwater provides 50% of the local water supply. Since natural recharge into the groundwater basins is not possible for this populated area, WRD has historically imported water from hundreds of miles away.

WRD’s goal is to eliminate the use of costly imported water for groundwater replenishment and replace it with a sustainable local water supply. GRIP, a multi-benefit project that includes a state-of-the-art advanced water treatment facility, will produce highly treated recycled water for groundwater replenishment and will completely eliminate WRD’s dependence on imported water for groundwater replenishment. GRIP will also serve as a gateway for water reuse education. The 5.2-acre site will include a learning center with interpretive exhibits, renewable energy, stormwater capture, drought-tolerant landscaping, educational water features mimicking the natural spreading technology used by GRIP, and many other features accessible to the community.

WRD used/is using innovative treatment processes, design-build alternative project delivery, and innovative design to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

WRD has exercised leadership in water reuse and has strategically used education, community outreach, and transparent communications to build public acceptance and support for GRIP and recycled water. Planning and design for GRIP included surveys to gauge public sentiment about recycled water and understanding of the proposed project. Results showed a need for education about the safety and reliability of recycled water. WRD took this opportunity to develop an innovative, diverse, and comprehensive outreach program to educate and inform the public and build support for GRIP. An integrated approach to messaging, including text, imagery, videos, face-to-face conversations, news coverage, public meetings and variety of special events, allowed WRD to connect with target audiences such as community leaders, civic organizations, local governments, businesses, media, and residents. WRD made a special effort to engage with economically disadvantaged communities and multi-lingual residents.


  1. 300 full-time consulting jobs and 6-8 permanent full-time positions created
  2. Saved $20 million in funding through using a Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan
  3. Saved 7,000 tons of waste from being sent to landfill and diverted 96% recyclable materials

Something Unique

The design supports future water treatment expansion within the existing footprint. Advanced water treatment includes RO, UF, and UV. The stormwater capture and landscape design reflect natural water replenishment. The site includes a learning center and LA County’s first inland injection wells.

Who Should Consider?

WRD demonstrated leadership by transforming a public works project into an education campaign. The result is community support and acceptance of recycled water as an essential water management tool

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