Long Beach Streets Cleaned with Recycled Water

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recycled-water-long-beachAs the region continues to prepare for a major water shortage, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and the Board of Water Commissioners announced last month that the City of Long Beach will save an additional thirteen million gallons of water each year by shifting from potable to recycled water for citywide street sweeping operations.

Currently, the City uses precious potable water each year to fill and operate its fleet of sweepers. Long Beach Water has installed the first of many recycled water filling stations, located on Park Avenue, just north of 7th Street, at Recreation Park.

The City of Long Beach is among the very first to take advantage of a recent decision by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to allow the use of recycled water for sweeping activities.

“The switch means that the City will save the equivalent of water used by 50 Long Beach families over the course of a year,” said Mayor Bob Foster, who hooked the City’s first street sweeper to a new filling station earlier this week. “This is another step towards our goal to become a sustainable city.” 

Long Beach has an expansive recycled water distribution system that enables golf courses, parks, cemeteries and large public landscapes to utilize this water for irrigation, saving hundreds of millions of gallons of potable water every year. According to John Allen, President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners, around 12 percent of of the City’s demand for water is met with recycled water. “Continuing to expand the reach of the City’s recycled water distribution system is among the Water Commission’s top priorities.” 

In September 2007, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners declared that a water supply shortage for the City of Long Beach is imminent. In making this declaration, the Board activated the City’s Emergency Water Supply Shortage Plan, triggering strict prohibitions on certain out door uses of water. 

The implementation of the City’s Emergency Water Supply Shortage Plan is necessitated by a rapid depletion of our emergency water supply reserves, below normal precipitation and, most importantly, severe imported water supply constrictions in both Northern California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Colorado River water shed, resulting in permanent losses to critical imported water supplies to the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. 

Long Beach Water is an urban, Southern California retail water supply agency, and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

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