Liquid News

Circular Clarifier was the First Phase of the Water Recycling Plant Expansion

A few years before ground was broken on the massive expansion of the Irvine Ranch Water District Michelson Water Recycling Plant, the first phase of that expansion was underway.

In 2007, work was begun on the Harvard Area Trunk Sewer Project that would expand the collection system to divert sewage from the Harvard Avenue and Main Street area to the Michelson Plant. Previously, sewage from that area was sent to the Orange County Sanitation District for treatment.

Expanding the trunk line would allow for treatment at Michelson, which would also save IRWD the costs incurred by sending it to OCSD. This would also allow for the production of more recycled water for use in the community. Work took place from late spring 2007 to spring 2008.

Another project was done in tandem with the Harvard Area Trunk Sewer Project to accommodate an increase of approximately five million more gallons of sewage flowing into the plant daily. This was construction of the circular clarifier at the Michelson plant, a 100-foot diameter, 16-foot deep tank. Ground broke on this project in 2006 and it was completed in the summer of 2008. It serves the same purpose as the nearby rectangular clarifiers, using activated sludge, or a high concentration of microbes to clean the sewage for converting into recycled water.

Phase Two of the expansion began in 2009 to increase flow capacity into the plant by an additional 10 million gallons per day. Final touches on that project are underway now. The new features of the plant include a new headworks facility, four new primary treatment tanks, a membrane bio-reactor, high-rate clarifiers, updated disinfection with sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and an ultraviolet disinfection system.

Recycled water produced by the plant is used for irrigating landscaping on golf courses, schools, parks, greenbelts, street medians, and for toilet flushing in commercial buildings, air conditioning cooling towers in high-rises and some industrial uses, such as concrete batch mixing.

Please visit our website for information on our Michelson Water Recycling Plant.

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