West Basin Water News | Spring 2021

Free Rain Barrel and Delivery – Register Today

This year West Basin has adapted its popular free rain barrel distribution program to a contactless delivery program. Qualified residents who live in the District can now register to receive a rain barrel, worth approximately $100 per unit, delivered directly to their homes for free. This year, 1,000 free rain barrels will be available.

Rain barrels help residents collect rainwater for irrigating home gardens without the use of sprinklers, reduce runoff pollution from entering local storm drains, and save money. One 55-gallon eco-friendly barrel can save up to 620 gallons of water per year.

Registration for the program is required and deliveries will be scheduled in groups, with lead times of up to a few weeks between order and delivery dates. To register or to learn more about the rain barrel home delivery program, please visit: www.westbasin.org/rainbarrels or call (310) 371-4633 for details.

West Basin’s rain barrel distribution program is part of a larger District-wide water-efficiency program that launched in 1990. Since 2014, West Basin has given away more than 8,000 free rain barrels to local residents. The adapted program helps keep District communities safer during the ongoing pandemic, and also enables residents to save water and use local resources whenever possible.


SoFi Stadium Recycled Water Project Wins Excellence Award

The SoFi Stadium Recycled Water Project won the “Excellence in Action” award presented by the WateReuse Association at its symposium on March 22.

The award recognizes West Basin, the City of Inglewood, and project partners for making a significant contribution in support of greater adoption of water reuse.

The project, located in the city of Inglewood, Calif., is a 298-acre sports and entertainment destination. The centerpiece of the mixed-use development is the 70,000-seat open-air SoFi Stadium, which is home to the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. West Basin is providing recycled water for landscape irrigation, maintenance, and aesthetic purposes, including Lake Park and the landscape areas surrounding the stadium.

Outside of the stadium’s footprint, West Basin recycled water will also be delivered to the Hollywood Park Casino and the Inglewood Transit Center, with additional supplies being made available for future retail development. In total, the project’s commitment to recycled water use is expected to offset potable water demands in the region by approximately 75 acre-feet per year (AFY) during the first year of operation, and is anticipated to expand to over 80 AFY (approx. 26 million gallons per year) in potable water savings as future development areas are connected to recycled water in subsequent years.  Read the full project award announcement.

In addition, West Basin was acknowledged as a project partner for the Transformative Innovation award-winning Hyperion Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Pilot Facility Project. The MBR project represents a major step in expanding water reuse and improving water quality at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, which provides West Basin with secondary effluent for further purification at the District’s facilities. The WateReuse excellence awards details are online.


Urban Water Management Plan Draft for Review

West Basin is in the process of preparing and updating its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) in compliance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act and the Water Conservation Act of 2009, commonly known as SBX7-7. An update of the District’s UWMP is required every five years. The District intends to adopt the updated plan before the July 1, 2021 deadline.

Urban water suppliers in the process of updating its UWMP are required to notify its service area at least 60 days prior to holding a public hearing. As such, a public notice was posted on March 5, 2021, noting that a copy of the draft 2020 UWMP will become available for review on West Basin’s website. A second notice identified a public hearing scheduled for June 10 at 10am.

Updates to the UWMP will reflect the growth that has occurred since the adoption of the 2015 UWMP, forecasted growth within the West Basin service area, and the District’s plan to reliably meet the service area’s water needs. In an effort to meet new requirements, West Basin also has plans to adopt a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) as part of the 2020 UWMP. This portion of the plan will describe how the District will respond to foreseeable and unforeseeable water shortages.

Please visit www.westbasin.org for updates on the 2020 UWMP and WSCP, public hearing dates and adoption process.


Budget Process for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Underway 

Each year in spring, the Board of Directors reviews and approves the annual operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.

The budget provides a preview of how West Basin intends to support its mission and fulfill a commitment to sound financial and resource management. The document aims to provide the reader with an understanding of West Basin’s operations and includes a description of the various District programs, their associated costs, capital investment plans, and a financial forecast among other sections. A schedule of Water Rates and Charges is also adopted at this time.

Prior to budget adoption, staff hosts a series of workshops to present the proposed budget. The workshops share the schedule of budget adoption, preliminary revenues and expenditures, initial water sales assumptions for both imported and recycled water and considerations for rate increases. The schedule is as follows:

  • Workshop #1 General Overview – February 17
  • Workshop #2 Review Proposed Expenses – March 24
  • Workshop #3 Review Proposed Revenues – April 16
  • Workshop #4 Overall Budget and Follow-Up – April 19
  • Customer Agency Workshop – April 28
  • Adopt Budget and Rates & Charges – May 24

Budget adoption is anticipated at the May 24, 2021 Board meeting. The Fiscal Year 2021-2022 will begin on July 1, 2021 and runs through June 30, 2022.

Once the final Operating Budget is approved and adopted, the document will be posted online. Past budgets are also on the District’s Financial Reports webpage at: www.westbasin.org/finance/financial-reports.

Board agendas, agenda packets with workshop presentations and staff reports, and workshop videos are available online: www.westbasin.org/board-meetings.


Recycled Water Delivery to Torrance Refining Company Extended through 2023 

West Basin entered into a new agreement with the Torrance Refining Company LLC, and the City of Torrance, for the usage of nitrified recycled water at the Torrance Refinery through August 31, 2023.

West Basin uses a biological filtration processes to remove ammonia from disinfected tertiary recycled water. The higher quality nitrified recycled water is then delivered to the refinery for cooling tower applications. By serving nitrified recycled water to the Torrance Refinery, West Basin offsets the need for approximately 2.7 million gallons per day of precious potable water for refinery cooling towers use.

During the initial development of West Basin’s recycled water program, West Basin entered into agreements with prospective recycled water customers that addressed water quality, capital infrastructure, and fixed/variable pricing. A 1995 agreement with the City of Torrance and the then-owners of the Torrance Refinery, and subsequent amendments to the agreement allowed for the delivery of nitrified recycled water through February 28, 2021. West Basin staff, legal counsel, refinery and City of Torrance staffs have negotiated a new agreement over the past several months, which was presented at the February 11, 2021 West Basin Engineering and Operations Committee meeting and approved by the Board of Directors on February 22, 2021. Key terms of the proposed agreement include variable monthly charges for the product water received by the refinery, as well as fixed monthly charges that will support West Basin’s capital investments into facilities that produce and convey the recycled water to the refinery.

Torrance Refining Company Economics and Planning Manager David Socolofsky noted that the detailed contract process was made possible through collaboration and, “the diligence applied by West Basin staff and the professionalism displayed by all” was appreciated.

In addition to the nitrified water, the Torrance Refinery also uses a different type of recycled water through a separate agreement with West Basin. This separate agreement allows for the delivery of purified recycled water through microfiltration and reverse osmosis for refinery boiler feeds purposes. West Basin, the City, and the Refinery anticipate entering into a single agreement for the supply of cooling tower and boiler feed water in 2023.

Overall, refinery customers account for just over 50% of West Basin recycled water usage.


Spring Water Lab Session Includes New Digital Learning Opportunities

This spring, West Basin continues its Water Lab public and school education program with new webinar dates, classroom presentations, and workshop offerings.

  • Wed., April 21: Take part in the District’s new Firescaping workshop focused on the Palos Verdes Peninsula area. Learn landscaping techniques to help safeguard your home from wildfires.
  • Wed., May 12: Learn about the journey your water takes to get from mountain top to tap at the “Where Your Water Comes From” Know Your H2O Webinar.
  • Sat., June 5: Enjoy a live-streamed tour of the West Basin Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility from the comfort of your home at the Virtual Water Recycling Tour Know Your H2O Webinar.

For school-aged groups and educators, the District continues to offer free online programs for the remainder of the school year:

  • A Drop in the Bucket Classroom Presentations, taught in partnership with The Wildwoods Foundation, explores Southern California’s water resources and practical water conservation methods.
  • Water Industry Career Classroom Presentations encourages students to explore exciting careers in the water industry.

For more information on all educational programs and to sign up for upcoming opportunities, please visit: www.westbasin.org/water-lab.


Save Money, Water and the Earth 

For area residents looking for ways to reduce their cost of living and increase their quality of life during these challenging times, sustainable home improvement projects can save water and money.

One useful resource for budget-friendly and eco-friendlier ways to improve water use efficiency at home is your local water district and/or utility.

Harold C. Williams, MSCE, P.E., President of the West Basin Municipal Water District notes how water saving programs available to residents provide an opportunity to become environmental stewards. “By saving water, not only are you saving money, but you are protecting your community and the Earth,” he said. “Using less water takes practice, until conservation becomes a habit. Sometimes you just need a little help to keep going, which is where we come in.”

Read our tips article to help you kick off and keep up efforts to take better care of our earth’s water resources in celebration of Earth Day (April 22).


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