SANTA CLARITA AND ANTELOPE VALLEYS
Separate from the JOS, smaller regional wastewater systems are managed by the Sanitation Districts in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley. Each of these valley areas are home to two WRPs that provide important sources of water for wildlife habitats and for municipal and agricultural reuse.
- The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District operates the Saugus and Valencia WRPs.
- Sanitation Districts Nos. 14 and 20 serve the Antelope Valley. Sanitation District No. 14 operates the Lancaster WRP, and Sanitation District No. 20 operates the Palmdale WRP.
PIONEERING THE REUSE OF RECYCLED WATER
The Sanitation Districts are pioneers in using recycled water beneficially and remain strong proponents of expanding reuse options. The WRPs produce a high-quality source of recycled water that essentially meets drinking water standards and is reused at more than 720 sites throughout the county. Uses of recycled water include industrial, commercial, and recreational applications; groundwater recharge; and agriculture, landscape, park, and golf course irrigation. Wastewater received at the JWPCP is higher in salts, making it more costly to recycle and reuse.
POWERING UP THROUGH BIOSOLIDS MANAGEMENT
500,000 tons of biosolids per year: that is how much the Sanitation Districts’ sewerage system produces as a byproduct of wastewater treatment. Prior to dewatering, the biosolids are digested, producing a biogas that is converted to electricity or used for heating parts of the biological treatment process. As a result, the JWPCP is virtually energy self-sufficient. Biosolids are also beneficially reused through a variety of management options: as a soil amendment for agriculture, and in the manufacture of high-quality compost.
Looking toward a sustainable future, the Sanitation Districts’ long-range plan includes utilization of two state-of-the-art composting facilities (see map below). The Inland Empire Regional Composting Facility in Rancho Cucamonga is an entirely enclosed composting facility developed in a joint venture with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency. The Tulare Lake Compost facility in Kings County will compost Sanitation Districts’ biosolids, along with the Central Valley’s agricultural waste and urban green waste, using an engineered fabric cover composting system. This facility is scheduled to be operational in 2016.
The Sanitation Districts operate a comprehensive solid waste management system serving the needs of a large portion of Los Angeles County. This system includes sanitary landfills, recycle centers, materials recovery/transfer facilities, and energy recovery facilities. In every operation, the first order of business is to ensure a “good neighbor policy” that strives for a harmonious balance with surrounding communities.
WHO’S WHO OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES
The Puente Hills Landfill, located near the City of Whittier, was one of the largest landfills in the nation. Puente Hills pioneered the development of advanced environmental control systems that are now used at modern landfills throughout the state and nation. These systems, designed to protect air quality and groundwater, include extensive landfill gas collection networks and underground liners. Puente Hills Landfill closed permanently on October 31, 2013, after 43 years of operation.
The two other operational sites are the Calabasas Landfill, located near the City of Agoura Hills, and the Scholl Canyon Landfill, located in the City of Glendale. At the closed Spadra, Palos Verdes, and Mission Canyon landfills, the Sanitation Districts continue to maintain environmental control systems.
ENERGIZING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THROUGH RECOVERY FACILITIES
Among the first to utilize biogas as a natural resource to produce renewable energy, the Sanitation Districts’ energy recovery facilities at the Puente Hills, Spadra, and Calabasas landfills provide reliable and economic electrical power to help serve Southern California’s increasing energy needs.
The use of solid waste as a fuel to produce power reduces our reliance on fossil fuels while helping to prolong the remaining landfill capacity in the region. The Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility was the first of its kind in California. It is owned by a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) created by the Sanitation Districts and the City of Commerce and is operated by the Sanitation Districts. Similarly, the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in Long Beach is owned by a JPA consisting of the Sanitation Districts and the City of Long Beach, and is operated by a private company.
RECYCLING AND MATERIALS RECOVERY/TRANSFER FACILITIES
As the list of recyclables continues to grow, the Sanitation Districts are deploying new, more sophisticated technology to maximize cost-efficiency. In fact, the Sanitation Districts own and operate facilities that help Los Angeles County meet its goals in diverting waste from landfills and in providing cost-effective transfer of municipal solid waste to landfills by truck or rail.
The recycle centers located at the Puente Hills and Palos Verdes landfills are Certified California Buy Back Centers. The Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and the Downey Area Recycling and Transfer (DART) Facility recover recyclable materials, such as paper and plastics, through a combination of manual and mechanical methods. The South Gate Transfer Station removes easily recoverable materials and reduces operational costs by consolidating smaller loads into larger ones for transport to landfills.
TRACKING THE FUTURE WITH WASTE-BY-RAIL
The pioneering spirit is again apparent as the Sanitation Districts take the lead role in implementing the Waste-by-Rail system, the transport of waste to distant disposal facilities by train. This innovative system will provide long-term disposal capacity to replace local landfills as they reach capacity and close.
The Puente Hills MRF was the initial infrastructure for the Waste-by-Rail system. To further develop the system, the Sanitation Districts have completed construction of the Mesquite Regional Landfill in Imperial County (see map below), which is permitted to handle up to 20,000 tons per day for approximately 100 years. Construction of the Puente Hills Intermodal Facility is now underway and will be ready by the time Waste-by-Rail is needed.
The Sanitation Districts are leaders in the production of green energy and the recycling of water and materials. The following are just a few of our accomplishments:
Approximately 120 megawatts (MW) of electricity are generated in Sanitation Districts’ wastewater and solid waste operations. In total, the Sanitation Districts produce power equivalent to the needs of about 160,000 Southern California homes. Generation was increased with a new gas-to-energy facility at the Calabasas Landfill in 2010. Some of the electricity is used in powering Sanitation Districts’ operations; the rest is used to reduce the amount of power produced by utilities, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
ENERGY PROGRAMS IN WASTEWATER
The JWPCP uses biogas to generate 20 MW of electricity, making the facility virtually energy self-sufficient and saving approximately $17 million per year in avoided electrical costs. Excess electricity is sold to the local power grid.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN WASTEWATER
The Sanitation Districts have been leaders in energy efficiency at wastewater treatment plants for decades. Technologies such as fine bubble diffusion, variable speed drives, high-efficiency motors, and automated control systems have allowed the Sanitation Districts to save millions of dollars in power costs.
ENERGY PROGRAMS IN SOLID WASTE
Gas-to-Energy Facilities: Biogas, generated during the decomposition of organic material managed in landfills, is used to generate electricity. At the Puente Hills Landfill alone, enough electricity is generated to power almost 70,000 Southern California homes. Most of this power is sold to the local power grid, with the remainder used at the nearby San Jose Creek Water Reclamation Plant.
Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility and SERRF: These facilities utilize controlled combustion to convert refuse to electricity—enough to power approximately 55,000 Southern California homes. Sophisticated air pollution control devices make these facilities some of the cleanest of their type in the world.
TAKE A TOUR OR OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Sanitation Districts invite you or your school or organization to tour one of our facilities. If you would like to book a tour or obtain additional information, please call (562) 908-4288, extension 2300.