Pasadena Water & Power

Recycled Water

 Recycled Water
What is Recycled Water
Benefits of Recycled Water 
How Pasadena Plans to Acquire Recycled Water 
Project Timeline
Recycled Water Standards and Uses
Other Organizations using Recycled Water 
Contact Us  

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, for industrial and irrigation operations, to meet the annual water demands of our City.  Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) plans to enhance our water supply reliability by providing recycled water to our customers for landscape irrigation and industrial uses in the future.

Public Scoping Meetings

PWP held  Public Scoping Meetings on Saturday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 10 at Brookside Golf Club. The Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report was presented for public review.  

What is Recycled Water?

Recycled water is former wastewater that has been cleaned to remove impurities.  Colorless and odorless, recycled water 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 and our dependency on imported water supply escalates.  Recycled water provides a dependable, locally-controlled water supply that can satisfy many non-potable water demands.  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

How Pasadena Plans to Acquire Recycled Water   

The City of Pasadena has an agreement in place with the City of Glendale to provide up to 6,000 acre-feet of recycled water annually to Pasadena from the Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation plant.  This water is highly treated through a seven-step process imitating nature’s own cleaning processes.  The Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation plant processes 20 million gallons of recycled water each day!  The recycled water produced is shared between the Los Anageles 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 pipeline to deliver recycled water from the Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant over to the City of Pasadena.  Phase 1 of the program includes connections to customers with large irrigation demands like the 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.  

Pasadena Recycled Water Project could provide up to 6,000 acre-feet of recycled water annually for citywide non-potable water use, meeting over 15 percent of the city’s total water demand. One acre-foot of water is approximately 326,000 gallons. 

Project Timeline   

The following is the expected schedule for PWP’s Recycled Water Project:

  • Public Scoping Meeting - Summer 2014
  • Environmental Impact Report  (EIR)–   late 2014/early 2015
  • Public Review of EIR – late 2014/early 2015
  • Obtaining Funding and Permits - 2015
  • Start of Construction – 2015

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 in industrials cooling and air-conditioning involving a cooling tower.

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:

California Department of Public Health
California Environmental Protection Agency 

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

Recycled Water Contact Information  

Roumiana Voutchkova
(626) 744-4486

Click here to see other major PWP projects