West County Wastewater and EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) announced a recycled water partnership that will preserve valuable drinking water for the region and support West County Wastewater’s ongoing mission of environmental stewardship and protecting public health.
Under an existing agreement, West County Wastewater sends the majority of its treated secondary wastewater to EBMUD. The updated agreement significantly increases the amount of discharged wastewater that can be transferred to EBMUD. EBMUD distributes the recycled water to local businesses for industrial reuse, such as cooling towers and boilers.
“The benefits this partnership will bring to our region are remarkable,” said West County Wastewater General Manager Lisa Malek-Zadeh. “It gives us the opportunity to meet our goal to recycle all of our wastewater, continuing our vision of keeping our community and natural surroundings healthy and safe.”
Productive use of recycled water for industrial and irrigation purposes protects the environment. It also saves drinking water by offsetting the burden on the local water supply. The new agreement has the potential to keep nearly all the wastewater treated by West County Wastewater out of the San Francisco Bay.
“Collaborating with local agencies such as EBMUD to provide recycled water is an integral part of our efforts to support environmental sustainability and community stewardship,” said Board President David Alvarado. “We are pleased to be able to maintain this important relationship.”
A recycled water supply agreement between the two agencies has been in place since 1990 and was first amended in 2007. This second amendment allows for the increase in the amount of wastewater that can be transferred to EBMUD, from 7-8 million gallons per day to up to 12.5 million gallons per day. It also reflects both agencies’ current operating conditions and provides updated water quality criteria.
West County Wastewater’s collection and treatment process meets all state and federal regulations to ensure viruses, like COVID-19, bacteria and other contaminants do not survive in the sewage.