Anaheim Water Recycling Demonstration Facility

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The City of Anaheim selected MWH to plan and design a new water recycling facility to demonstrate how urban developers can utilize low impact development features in any location. The Water Recycling Demonstration Facility (WRDF), which consists of a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR), ozonation and UV disinfection, illustrates how six separate water sustainable features are used to reuse water within a small footprint. The main feature of the demonstration facility is a 100,000 gallon-per-day recycle water treatment plant which diverts raw sewage from a nearby sewer pipeline and treats it to a high purity effluent. The treated water is used for toilet and urinal flushing in City Hall West, landscape irrigation around City Hall, as well as potential indoor and outdoor uses in nearby parks and future developments and potential irrigation in nearby parks and schools.

    Location: Anaheim, California, United States
    Region: Americas
    Service Offering: Engineering & Design
    Market Sector: Water & Wastewater
    Status: Complete
    The treatment plant odor control system scrubs all the air and the facility has zero odors outside the building, a key design element given the facility is located 20-ft from Anaheim City Hall and near a major business district. The elimination of noise associated with the treatment process further required design elements to prove the facility can be situated in any urban development, with no noise and zero odor. Odor modeling and a comprehensive redundant odor system makes the wastewater treatment plant seem unnoticeable to nearby pedestrians.

    As the facility was designed and constructed for demonstration purposes, over half the building is made out of glass to allow educational tours of the building from the outside. Informational signs and graphics are located around the facility to point out features of the treatment process, stormwater injection wells, landscape features and rain barrels. Visitors can witness the dark sewer influent coming into the plant through the window and a 30-ft recycle water fountain located outside the facility highlights the cleanliness of recycled water and how it can be utilized.

    The WRDF was built with an ultimate treatment capacity of 100,000 gallons-per-day. Phase 1 of the project consisted of designing and building a 50,000 gallon-per-day facility, which includes an influent diversion pump station, fine screen, nitrification and denitrification tanks, membrane filtration system, ozonation system, UV disinfection system, clear well and supporting facilities such as odor control. These facilities are housed in a climate controlled, architecturally finished building. The design was completed within ten months and construction completed in 14 months. Phase 2 of the project will add another filter in the existing building to expand recycle water service to a nearby ice skating rink and park.

    MWH utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to help optimize the layout and improve access for operators and construction sequencing thus reducing logistical issues given the small footprint of the site. This model was pivotal in providing lean construction methods for the contractor and early collaboration between the design and construction teams.

    The Anaheim Water Recycling Demonstration Facility is very unique, in that it is an example of how recycled water treatment plants can be constructed in similar downtown environments to meet water demands and provide sustainable developments. This is an innovative contribution to the community to improve sustainable development and educate the importance of water reuse.

    • Planning
    • Permitting
    • Water quality testing
    • Design and engineering support
    • The innovative design used Membrane Bioreactor treatment process with ultraviolet light and ozone for disinfection. It is one of the first recycle water treatment plants using this technology in the United States.
    • The Anaheim Water Recycling Demonstration Facility received an ‘Award of Merit’ in the water/environment category as part of the ENR Best Projects 2013 competition for the California region.


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    Anaheim, California, United States
    33.835293, -117.914504

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