Pasadena Water & Power

Non-Potable (Recycled) Water Project


Pasadena's 2011 Water Integrated Resources Plan established a long term strategy to meet current and future water needs. This plan calls for developing alternative sources of water to meet Pasadena’s annual water demands.

Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) plans to enhance the water supply reliability by developing the Non-Potable Water Project. The project will offset up to 10% of the total water consumed by PWP customers by delivering recycled water and other untapped non-potable water sources for landscape irrigation and industrial uses in the future. Click here for fact sheet. 

Alternative Routes Study Reports – Now Available

In February of 2016, City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report for the Non-Potable Water Project. During the public hearing, PWP received feedback from residents along the planned pipeline route with concerns about impacts during project construction, and was asked to explore two alternative pipeline routes. PWP has thoroughly examined the alternative routes and has several reports that detail the findings on the impacts of the proposed route vs. the alternative routes. 

Click here to learn more and to access the Alternative Routes Study Reports (see list below).  Check this webpage for updates to the meeting location, date and time. 

    • Alternative Evaluation Report with Construction Cost Estimate
    • Arborist Report 
    • California Environmental Quality Act Assessment of Phase 1 Options
    • Sheldon Reservoir Archeological Testing Report
    • Gnatcatcher Report 

Alternative Routes Study Reports Community Meetings

PWP held two community meetings to share the findings of the Alternative Routes Study Reports and to seek input. See below for presentation info:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Pipeline Route Discussed: Linda Vista Ave., Laurel St., and Parkview Ave. or (alternative route) Salvia Canyon and West Dr.
Click Here for Power Point Presentation 

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Pipeline Route Discussed: Arroyo Blvd. and Rose Bowl Dr. or (alternative route) Rosemont Ave.  
 Click Here for Power Point Presentation 

Grant Funding Update

In December 2015, PWP submitted applications for grant and loan funding under the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) Proposition 1 and State Revolving Loan, and Title XVI under the United States Bureau of Reclamation. In July 2016, PWP was informed that the Project was potentially eligible to receive up to $8.2 million (35% of the project cost) in grant funding with a potential for 65% loan funding pending submittals of additional information and documentation. PWP has fulfilled all required submittals as requested by the SWRCB and is awaiting final approval.

What is the Non-Potable Water Project? 

The Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project is formerly known as the Recycled Water Project. The City of Pasadena has an agreement in place with the City of Glendale to provide up to 3,000 acre-feet of non-potable water annually to Pasadena from the Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation plant.  This water is tertiary treated through a three-step process imitating nature’s own cleaning processes.  The Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation plant processes 20 million gallons of non-potable water each day!  The non-potable water produced is shared between the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the City of Glendale as cooling water by the Glendale Steam Power Plant and for irrigation at Griffith Park, in freeway landscaping, local cemeteries, at nearby golf courses and parks.

PWP is developing plans to construct a new distribution system to deliver non-potable water from the Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant (LAG) to the City of Pasadena. Phase 1 of the proposed Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project includes connections to four customers with large irrigation demands: Art Center College of Design, Brookside Golf Course, Rose Bowl Stadium, and Brookside Park. Phase 2 will include the City’s Glenarm Power Plant which will use the water for cooling and processes in place of potable water, saving millions of gallons of water annually.  

The proposed Project could provide more than 3,000 AF of non-potable water annually for citywide non-potable water use, meeting nearly 10% of the City’s total water demand. One acre-foot of water is approximately 326,000 gallons. 

Project Timeline and Studies   

The following is the expected schedule for Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project, formerly known as the Recycled Water Project:







What is Recycled Water?

Recycled water is wastewater that has been cleaned to remove impurities. Colorless and odorless, the recycled water from LAG is tertiary treated and disinfected by a three-stage treatment and is allowable for all human contact except consumption. Recycled water is typically used for non-potable (not for drinking) purposes such as landscape irrigation, recreational lakes, decorative fountains, in industrial processes, commercial car washes, concrete mixing, construction dust control, soil compaction, street and sidewalk cleaning, flushing sanitary sewers, cooling towers and air conditioning.   

Benefits of Recycled Water

As our community grows, the demand for potable water increases as Pasadena’s dependency on imported water. Recycled water provides a dependable, locally-controlled water supply for non-potable uses, such as landscape irrigation, cooling, and dust control. Using recycled water is making use of a valuable resource that would otherwise be wasted and has many environmental benefits such as: 

  • Conserving fresh water for drinking
  • Ability to maintain green landscape - even during droughts
  • Reducing pollution by decreasing the amount of waste water discharge to the environment
  • Decreasing diversion of freshwater from sensitive ecosystems 
  • Saving energy by pumping less water from the Colorado River and northern California
  • Reducing greenhouse gasses emissions

Other Organizations using Recycled Water

Like Pasadena, many other organizations see the benefit of using precious water resources more than once.  Below you will find a list of a few of the local organizations providing recycled water: 

Burbank Water and Power 
 Glendale Water and Power
 City of San Diego
Irvine Ranch Water District
Long Beach Water Department
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Orange County Water District  

Golf Courses

Here's a list of golf courses that use recycled water from the Los Angeles-Glendale Reclamation Plant:

Harding Golf Course
Lakeside Golf Club
Oakmont Country Club
Scholl Canyon Golf Club 

Recycled Water Standards and Uses 

The recycled water that is available to the City of Pasadena is categorized as “Disinfected Tertiary Recycled Water.”  This water has undergone treatment for a wide range of contaminates and is filtered and disinfected prior to the water being distributed.

The City of Pasadena plans to use recycled water for landscape irrigation of schools, parks, golf courses, freeway medians, hospitals, stadiums, cemeteries, and libraries. Recycled water will also be used for industrials cooling by the largest water customers such as Art Center College of Design, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Glenarm Power Plant, Caltech, Pasadena City College, and JPL.

The State of California encourages the use of high-quality recycled water.  More information about recycled water use rules and regulations can be found at:

State Water Resources Control Board  

Certified - Environmental Impact Report

Final Environmental Impact Report - certified February 2016

Public Draft EIR - Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project, June 2015 


Water Usage Gauge