Burbank Water and Power's Innovative Reclaimed Water Treatment System
In continuing its long-term commitment to environmental stewardship, BWP installed in 2002 an innovative Reclaimed Water Treatment System at BWP's on-site power plants. This system reduces BWP's use of potable (drinking) water by as much as 70,000 gallons per day. The water treatment system takes reclaimed wastewater from the City's sewage treatment plant through a series of refining steps, producing water pure enough for use in BWP's power plants. By dramatically reducing the amount of potable water used in producing electricity, BWP has cut costs in half while taking an important environmental step in conserving water. Previously, the wastewater was simply discharged into the storm drain after being cleaned at the sewage treatment plant. With the advent of this project, the water lives again, helping to produce electricity.
Burbank Water and Power's Reclaimed Water Treatment System
This system treats reclaimed water through micro-filtration, reverse osmosis, and demineralization processes
On June 25, 2002, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held with City Councilwoman Marsha Ramos presiding. She gave the following speech at the ceremony detailing the advantages of this project:
It is certainly my pleasure to be here today as we celebrate a first for the power industry.
Burbank is up and running with a system that produces ultra pure demineralized water from reclaimed water for use in our combustion turbine and steam units. When this purified water is turned into steam, it leaves no residue.
I'm particularly proud of what this accomplishment represents for Burbank. Because this system uses water from the Burbank Water Reclamation Plant, and uses no potable water, Burbank is able to save between 60,000 to 100,000 gallons of potable water a day. This is a great example of water conservation, which we so actively impress upon the community. Living in Southern California, we learn how to use and reuse water in ways others have not considered. Back in 1968, our power plants were the first to use reclaimed water for cooling. Now, Burbank is the first to use reclaimed water to make water pure enough to be used to power our turbines. It's extremely impressive that this new system saves the City $160,000 per year compared to the old system.
Protecting the environment by reusing, recycling, and reducing are important water management strategies, and good economy as well. I am very happy that Burbank has been able to demonstrate that reclaimed water can be used for power plants, and not just for irrigation.
I am also extremely impressed that many pumps and valves from the old Magnolia Plant were recycled and rebuilt by Power Plant personnel to make this project more cost effective. This was a great training opportunity for in-house employees to gain this unique hands-on experience. I commend BWP staff and all their hard work for making this new reclaimed water treatment system a reality for the community. Thank you.
June 25, 2002 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
In 1967, Burbank Water and Power had the distinction of being the first utility in the nation to use reclaimed water in place of potable water in its cooling towers. This newest system, with its unique processing of reclaimed wastewater, is a continuation of that environmental commitment and is another proud first for the City.