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California, USA – 10 June 2021: The Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling (ARC) has been awarded a Distinction for Water Project of the Year at the 2021 Global Water Awards, recognizing the advanced water treatment facility’s success in delivering forward-thinking solutions for optimizing its physical and environmental footprint.

The ARC was constructed in Pico Rivera, Southern California, and forms part of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California’s (WRD) initiative to increase the sustainability and resilience of Southern Los Angeles County’s water supply by expanding the use of recycled water for groundwater replenishment.

The purpose of the ARC project is to fully eliminate the current demand for imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River by creating a sustainable water supply from local alternative sources, where the water is treated for indirect potable reuse to recharge the San Gabriel Valley groundwater aquifers.

For this award, Global Water Intelligence (GWI), stated, “The ARC is a critical element of the WRD’s wider Water Independence Now program, which endeavours to establish a locally sustainable water supply for Southern California and increase resilience to drought. As a direct result of the new advanced treatment plant, water imports from Northern California and the Colorado River are no longer required to replenish the area’s groundwater supply.”

As the ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) system supplier, Biwater Inc. carried out the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the UF and RO systems for Phase 1 of the ARC water treatment facility, which is the largest direct-coupled UF and RO system in North America, with the entire plant operating at over 92% recovery.

Technical overview:

The source water for the advanced treatment facility is tertiary effluent from two wastewater treatment plants. The 10 train UF process removes particulates and organisms prior to the RO membranes, thereby contributing to stable RO operation and performance. To enhance overall system recovery rates, backwash waste from the primary UF system is processed by a subsequent secondary recovery UF system. The UF system has an overall recovery of 99.7 percent.

Thereafter, pressurized UF filtrate is treated by four primary RO trains (2 stage) followed by four concentrator RO trains (1 stage) running at a product recovery rate of 92.7 percent. Biwater’s energy efficient design incorporated a direct coupled UF and RO system, together with energy recovery devices on the concentrator RO trains. The RO membranes removes/reduces ionized salts and dissolved organics such as metals, nitrates and total organic content (TOC).

The combined RO product is then sent through a chemical oxidation/ultraviolet (UV) reactor advanced oxidation process, which breaks down low molecular weight compounds in the category of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs).

Commenting on this award, Richard White, Senior Vice President of Biwater’s Water Reuse and Desalination Sector, Biwater Inc., said “We are delighted that the Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling received this Distinction award and we are proud to have contributed to this advanced water treatment facility. Congratulations to the Water Replenishment District and all involved for achieving this leading industry award.”

Biwater Inc. was also awarded a Distinction for Desalination Company of the Year at the 2021 Global Water Awards, recognized for making the greatest contribution to the desalination industry in 2020. Over the past year, Biwater Inc. has demonstrated growth as an essential business and leading membrane technology provider, and despite the complexity brought about by the global pandemic, it has continued to deliver for its clients while expanding its market share.

Winners for the Global Water Awards are selected by Global Water Intelligence and Water Desalination Report subscribers, reflecting the views of the international water community. Nominations are initially shortlisted by a panel of experts before voting commences.

Video and Photos:

Caption: The Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling shortlisted for Water of the Year


Caption: Biwater Inc.’s ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis systems


Caption: The Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling, Pico Rivera, Southern California

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