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 three 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 the manufacturing process. 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.
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.
EBMUD's downtown Oakland Administration uses recycled water for toilet flushing, irrigation, sidewalk cleaning machines and cooling towers.
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||
CY18 Savings (mgd)
|Began Recycled Water Use|
|EBMUD Wastewater Treatment Plant||Industrial/Irrigation||1.7||1971|
|Chevron Refinery/Richmond||Industrial/Cooling Towers (NRWRP)||0*||1996|
|Chevron Refinery/Richmond||Industrial/Boiler Makeup Water (RARE)||2.3||2010|
|San Ramon Valley/
|East Bayshore RWP/
office building toilet flushing, possible wetlands restoration
|Recycled Water Truck Program||Dust Control/ Construction/ Irrigation/ Cleaning||0.01||2008|
*No recycled water was served to Chevron's cooling towers due to capital improvements and operational issues with the wastewater source.
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.
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.
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.