|Sept. 8, 2014, at its annual national symposium in Dallas, Texas, the WateReuse Association awarded the Santa Clara Valley Water District of Central California with the prestigious "Project of the Year Award - Large" for its recent completion of the new water recycling facility, the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center.|
According to WateReuse, the Project of the Year Award recognizes projects whose significance and contributions to the community continue to advance the water reuse industry. As such, the facility, located in the city of San José, is a new, locally-controlled, drought-proof water source for Silicon Valley and produces up to 8 million gallons per day (GPD) of highly purified water. It is the largest facility of its kind in Northern California.
The new plant uses three advanced technologies to purify water, which has already undergone two levels of quality wastewater treatment, sourced from the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility (RWF). At the new purification center, the water undergoes microfiltration, reverse osmosis (RO) and ultraviolet (UV) light to produce water so pure, it is expected to match drinking water quality.
Rather than discharging into the bay, this water is distributed via the regional "purple pipe" recycled water system, delivered by South Bay Water Recycling (SBWR), and is used for industrial cooling towers, golf courses and car washes throughout San José, Milpitas and Santa Clara. Approximately 750 customers are now enjoying the enhanced recycled water, which has a lower level of total dissolved solids (TDS). This helps reduce chemical use and maintenance costs for industrial users and is easier on some plant species because it reduces salt buildup.
In addition, the facility is helping to raise awareness and support for advanced treatments that render water of such a high quality that it can be used for additional purposes, including future drinking water supplies. Today, recycled water meets about 5 percent of the county's total water demands. By 2025, the water district hopes to double that number. The new purification center is one important step to reaching that goal.