April 2011, Vol. 23, No.4


Designed with cutting-edge, “green” building technology , the new administration offices of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will be located in a 13-story, 25,780-m2 (277,500-ft2) building that generates its own energy through integrated solar panels and wind turbines, and treats and recycles all wastewater for reuse with an onsite Living Machine® system.

The onsite wastewater system will be integrated into the lobby and outside landscaping, taking all gray and black water from the building and treating the water through advanced ecological engineering. The system is composed of enhanced wetland processes treating up to 18,900 L (5000 gal) of wastewater per day. The wetlands require only about 93 m2 (1000 ft2) of green space to support a host of lush plantings. Wastewater will flow below the wetland surface in watertight cells, so there is no smell, mosquito habitat, or health hazards.

The treated water will be used for flushing toilets. The commission projects that the system will allow the building to save approximately 2.8 million L (750,000 gal) of water per year, with an additional 3.4 million L (900,000 gal) available for nonpotable future uses.


Gwinnett County, Ga., part of regional Atlanta, has selected FlowWorks Inc. (Seattle) to manage all sanitary sewer flow and rainfall monitoring data for the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources on annual contract. The Web-based data management platform gathers and analyzes water, sewer, rainfall, and other monitoring data. It is hardware-neutral, accepting data from any flowmeter or manufacturer’s data system. The system also accepts data from supervisory control and data acquisition systems, manual inputs, and historic data sources. The selection was made, in part, because of the platform’s proven ability to accept data directly from Teledyne Isco (Lincoln, Neb.) and ADS (Huntsville, Ala.) flowmeters.


In February, Envirogen Technologies Inc. (Kingwood, Texas) began construction on a first-of-its-kind biological drinking water treatment plant to remove perchlorate and nitrate for the West Valley Water District (Rialto, Calif.) and the City of Rialto. The treatment plant will produce up to 11,400 m3/d (3 mgd) of quality drinking water using a fluidized bed bioreactor (FBR) followed by a typical surface water treatment plant to polish the effluent to potable water standards. The FBR will simultaneously reduce influent perchlorate concentrations as high as 300 ppb and nitrate concentrations as high as 20 ppm to nondetectable levels.


The board of directors for the Mesa Consolidated Water District (Costa Mesa, Calif.) late last year awarded a $16,871,400 construction contract to Brutoco Engineering & Construction (Fontana, Calif.) for improvements to the district’s Colored Water Treatment Facility.

The Colored Water Treatment Facility taps a portion of Orange County’s groundwater basin that includes a supply of amber-colored water hundreds of feet below the clear-water reserves. The colored water is of very high quality and safe to drink, although it has a slight amber tint resulting from the buried ancient redwood forests that grew in the area.

The treatment facility went on-line in 2000 and uses a revolutionary ozone filtration process to remove the color from the water. To date, the facility has produced 57 million m3 (15 billion gal) of water.

The improvements include the installation of a nanofiltration membrane. “By installing new nanofiltration membranes at the facility, we will be able to produce 50% more water, thus increasing the district’s high-quality local water reliability, and reducing the need for more expensive, less available imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River,” said Fred R. Bockmiller, board president, in a press release.

The project’s construction manager is MWH Constructors (Broomfield, Colo.), and the design engineer is Carollo Engineers (Walnut Creek, Calif.).


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