Michelson Water Recycling Plant

Michelson Water Recycling Plant

Established in 1961, IRWD provides drinking water, sewage collection, and treatment to produce recycled water. IRWD’s tertiary treatment of sewage at its Michelson Water Recycling Plant results in excellent-quality recycled water, which is used for landscape and agricultural irrigation, and for industrial and commercial needs. Recycled water is not for drinking or other in-home uses, but every gallon of recycled water saves a gallon of drinking water. IRWD's proactive long-term planning identified the need to expand MWRP to meet the projected 56% increase in demand for recycled water by 2025.

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In 1967 IRWD's Michelson Water Recycling Plant began delivering approximately two million gallons per day of tertiary-treated recycled water to agricultural users. Over the years IRWD's water recycling program grew from this limited use to a nationally recognized program that provides recycled water for a variety of other nondrinking uses. The IRWD service area continues to grow and the recycled water system must grow along with it. By 2008, MWRP's capacity had grown to 18 million gallons per day. Planners estimate that when the service area reaches final build-out in approximately 2025, a recycled water capacity of 33 million gallons per day will be required to meet demand. A master plan was prepared to ensure that the plant will meet those requirements.

More than a quarter of IRWD’s current supply is recycled water, enough to provide landscape irrigation for more than 80% of the District’s business and community customers -- including parks, school grounds, and golf courses. When recycled water is used to irrigate crops or landscaping we save drinking water, an equation that helps keep IRWD’s water rates among the lowest in Orange County. The MWRP Phase II Expansion has enabled IRWD to provide water to meet the future needs of our growing community, while decreasing IRWD’s dependence on imported drinking water.

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