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Michelson Water Recycling Plant

The Michelson Water Recycling Plant in Irvine has been IRWD's primary source of recycled water for more than half a century. Tertiary treatment of sewage there 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. 

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In 1967, the Michelson plant began delivering about 2 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 water for a variety of other nondrinking uses. 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, 33 million gallons per day of capacity 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 water 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. 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.