Michelson Water Recycling Plant

Michelson Water Recycling Plant

Established in 1961, IRWD provides drinking water, waste water collection and treatment to produce recycled water. IRWD’s tertiary treatment of wastewater at its Michelson Water Recycling Plant (MWRP) results in an excellent quality of recycled water that is used for landscape and agricultural irrigation, and for industrial and commercial needs. IRWD's proactive long-term planning identified the need to expand MWRP in order to meet the projected 56 percent increased recycled water demands by the year 2025.

IRWD MWRP 2013 032

In 1967 IRWD's Michelson Water Recycling Plant began delivering approximately two million gallons per day (mgd) 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 non-drinking water uses. 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 mgd.  Planners estimate that, when the service area reaches "final build out" in approximately 2025, a recycled water capacity of 33 million per day will be required to meet demands. A master plan was prepared to ensure that the plant will meet these requirements.

About 28 percent of IRWD’s current supply is recycled water, enough to provide landscape irrigation for 80 percent of the District’s business and community customers including parks, school grounds, and golf courses. Every gallon of recycled water used to irrigate crops or landscaping saves a gallon of 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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