inflatable dam
Reverse osmosis membrane arrays will be one of the new technologies at the new Advanced Water Treatment Facility.

Advanced Recycled Water Treatment

To ensure an adequate and reliable supply of high-quality water, the District partners with cities and water retailers to develop recycled water supplies. About four percent of the county’s total water use consists of recycled water, primarily for landscaping and industrial uses.

In March 2010, the District and the City of San Jose signed a 40-year agreement to build a new Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWTF) and to increase the use of recycled water. The AWTF will be a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that will use microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light disinfection to produce highly purified water.

The AWTF is expected to provide the District and the City with multiple benefits, including:

  • Improved quality for recycled water, which increases its marketability
  • Greater public acceptance of recycled water
  • Maximized water reuse alternatives
  • Reduced discharges of treated effluent into San Francisco Bay, which helps preserve saltwater tidal habitat

Energy Efficient Water Infrastructure

Delivering water is an energy intensive process, and the District has taken steps to ensure it’s done in the most efficient manner while continuing to meet operational needs.  The District conducted an energy audit and implemented improvements, including the installation of variable-frequency pump drives at treatment plants and pump stations, saving about 800 MWh annually.  To understand its energy use and to measure future improvements, the District has begun to benchmark the energy intensity of its treatment plants against other similar plants.  

Hydroelectric Generation

The water district owns and operates the Anderson Dam Hydroelectric generation facility, located in the southern part of the county as an additional source of alternative power generation.  Since its construction in 1988, this facility has generated over 9.5 million kWh of electricity.   During FY 08-09 it generated 67,000 kWh of non fossil fuel-based electricity.

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