Recycled water projects

The RARE Water Project at Chevron's Richmond refinery can produce 3.5 million gallons of recycled water a day

The RARE Water Project at Chevron's Richmond refinery can produce 3.5 million gallons of recycled water a day


EBMUD operates one of the largest industrial water reuse projects in California, with the capability to provide around 7.5 million gallons per day (mgd) of recycled water for Chevron's Richmond Refinery. That can free up enough drinking water to meet the indoor and outdoor water needs of more than 83,000 residents.

The majority of these savings have taken place since the North Richmond Water Reclamation Plant was built in 1996. The plant receives secondary-treated wastewater from nearby West County Wastewater District and treats it to an even higher standard (tertiary recycled water) in order to supply four cooling towers located at Chevron's Richmond refinery. With a potential capacity of 5.4 mgd, it is one of the larger industrial cooling water reuse projects in the nation.

In 2010, EBMUD added the Richmond Advanced Recycled Expansion (RARE) Water Project at Chevron's Refinery. Chevron uses this recycled water in its boilers to generate steam used while manufacturing gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and lubricants. Only extremely high-purity water can be used in boilers for reliable operations. To meet these quality requirements, RARE includes microfiltration and reverse osmosis systems, and a variety of pumps, pipes and equipment. RARE can produce 3.5 mgd of recycled water.

EBMUD Facilities

Since the 1970s, EBMUD has used recycled water at its own Wastewater Treatment Plant for cooling, cleaning equipment, mixing chemicals, and landscape irrigation. Approximately 2 million gallons daily (mgd) is recycled at our Wastewater Treatment Plant each year, and another 1.7 mgd at EBMUD drinking water filter plants.

Other Projects


EBMUD is working to connect more Bay Area golf courses and industries to recycled water

EBMUD anticipates expanding existing recycled water projects to include more users and establishing new recycled water partnerships with industries and/or neighboring wastewater agencies. The District also anticipates the development of small satellite projects to meet the irrigation needs of large water users like golf courses and cemeteries.

The schedule for implementing recycled water projects depends first on the interest and willingness of potential customers and partners. Second, EBMUD and its partners must ensure availability of adequate effluent supplies (the source for recycled water). And third, the partners will need funding to help support the development of recycled water infrastructure.

Water recycling projects in operation

Project and Location Type

CY20 Savings (mgd)

Began Recycled Water Use
EBMUD Wastewater Treatment Plant Industrial/Irrigation 2.1 1971
Chevron Refinery/Richmond Industrial/Cooling Towers (NRWRP) 2.1 1996
Chevron Refinery/Richmond Industrial/Boiler Makeup Water (RARE) 3.0 2010
San Ramon Valley/
Phase 1
Irrigation 0.9 2006
East Bayshore RWP/
Phase 1A
Irrigation, industrial,
office building toilet flushing, possible wetlands restoration
0.16 2008
Recycled Water Truck Program Dust Control/ Construction/ Irrigation/ Cleaning 0.01 2008

EBMUD provides recycled water to numerous sites for irrigation, commercial and industrial uses:


East Bayshore Recycled Water Project

When completed, the East Bayshore Project will supply an annual average of 2.5 million gallons per day (mgd) of recycled water to portions of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland.

Learn more here.

San Ramon Valley Recycled Water Program 

When completed, the San Ramon Valley Recycled Water Program will serve about 2.4 mgd of recycled water to EBMUD irrigation customers in portions of Blackhawk, Danville and San Ramon.

Learn more here.

San Leandro Recycled Water Facility

In 1988, EBMUD constructed the San Leandro Recycled Water Facility to recycle water from the City of San Leandro's Water Pollution Control Plant. This project can provide irrigation water to a golf course and City of Alameda landscaping.