LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The city of Los Angeles is setting out an ambitious plan to recycle 100 percent of its wastewater by the year 2035 by spending billions of dollars on improvements at its largest water treatment plant.
In a news conference Thursday, Mayor Eric Garcetti laid out the plan to reduce the city’s dependence on imported water by maximizing the recycling capacity at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa del Rey, by far the biggest of L.A.’s four water treatment facilities, and one of the largest in the United States.
Hyperion is responsible for receiving 81 percent of the city’s total wastewater and recycling 27 percent of that amount, the mayor’s office said. The city’s other three facilities — L.A. Glendale, Tillman, and Terminal Island – already recycle 100 percent of their wastewater.
Currently, only 2 percent of the city’s water supply comes from recycled water out of those four facilities, the mayor said. However, the city will spends $2 billion in improvements at Hyperion over the next 16 years to bring its recycling rate up to 100 percent. That, in turn, will raise the portion of L.A.’s water supply made up of recycled wastewater from those four water treatment plants from 2 percent to 35 percent, Garcetti said.
“Maximizing L.A.’s recycling capacity will increase the amount of water we source locally, and help to ensure that Angelenos can count on access to clean water for generations to come,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti, who was joined at the news conference by officials with L.A. Department of Water and Power and the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation, hopes that 50 percent of L.A.’s water comes from local sources by 2035.
This comes after Garcetti last week announced that, over the next 10 years, L.A. will be phasing out natural gas operations at three coastal power plants, a step towards moving the city away from fossil fuel dependence.