West Basin Water Recycling Facility

Project Details

  • Project Type:
    Water Recycling Facility
  • Location:
    El Segundo, CA
  • Delivery Method:
  • Design Engineer:
    HDR Engineering, Inc.
  • Constructed Value:
    $51.7 million
  • Completed:
    June 2007
  • Project Highlights:
    • Construction completed while the existing plant remained in full operation
    • Over 50 separate tie-ins were constructed
    • Water Reuse Community Outreach/Public Education Program
  • Awards:
    • DBIA Western Pacific Region Award of Excellence
    • Best in ‘07 Award by California Construction
    • WateReuse Association Project of the Year
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West Basin Water Recycling
Facility Phase IV Expansion

West Basin Municipal Water District

Filanc performed exceptionally in all aspects of construction during the Phase IV Design-Build project. Management of crews and subs was excellent and met all project objectives.
Marc Serna Manager of Engineering, West Basin Municipal Water District
The West Basin Municipal Water District provides a safe and reliable supply of high-quality water to the communities it serves. Due to California’s severe drought period between the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, they transformed their operations from an imported water wholesaler to a leader in conservation and water recycling. The Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility was built in 1992 and was recognized by the National Water Research Institute in 2002 as one of only Six National Centers for Water Treatment Technologies. It is the largest water recycling facility of its kind in the United States. As West Basin’s water demands increased, an expansion of the plant was necessary.

Filanc was selected as the design-builder to meet the owner’s design and construction needs. The West Basin Water Recycling Facility Phase IV Expansion is a multiple award-winning, design-build project, which consisted of expanding two treatment systems: the Barrier Water system and the Title 22 system. The Barrier Water system was increased from 7.5 MGD to 12.5 MGD. The upgrades to the Barrier Water Treatment included cartridge filters, chemical addition, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, decarbonation, ultraviolet irradiation, a product water pump station, and conversion of the chlorine contact tank to a product water pump station. The capacity of the Title 22 water system was increased from 30 MGD to 40 MGD. This expansion included conversion of an existing clarifier, recarbonation basin, existing filters, an addition of a 5 mg product water storage tank and backwash water pump station, and modifications to the existing disinfection system.

As the water treatment plant operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there were a few challenges Filanc faced while constructing this project. Scheduling challenges included the pre-planning for and implementation of the start-up phase. Preplanning of start-up included testing individual components, which required weekly meetings with the owner, the Design-Build team, the owner’s designer of record, the Construction Manager, and applicable vendors to ensure there were no interruptions of the plant. The start-up phase was challenging due to the need to integrate several sophisticated systems. Filanc was able to manage those challenges on all counts to ensure a smooth start-up.

Separate tie-ins also had the potential to steer the project off schedule due to the plant’s limited space and the need to continuously operate the plant. Well planned meetings with United Water, the plant operator, countered this problem by creating hour-by-hour schedules designating responsibilities for different tasks, thereby eliminating any confusion. There were over 50 various tie-ins to process water and chemical systems. Filanc respected the need not to impact delivery capabilities of the plant and combined as many tie-ins at one time to minimize overall impact. They had to secure the system and allow access to do the tie-ins, which varied between 2 and 8 hours, some lasting a full 24 hours. Due to Filanc’s collaborative processes, these challenges had no effect on the project’s schedule or plant operations.

West Basin has an outreach program designed to encourage private and public school students, families, adult community groups, and industry professionals from Southern California to learn about recycling programs and actively participate in conserving energy and water. Grade-school children were brought to the West Basin Water Recycling Phase IV Expansion site to show them how valuable and rare water is. When the school planned the visit to the site, the team was told only a few days in advance and had to secure the site to make sure the plant was safe for visitors. Filanc supported this amazing program and applied our expertise to ensure the children’s safety while walking through the plant.


The West Basin project was completed in 162,000 working hours with no lost time accidents.

Quality Control:

A design quality control (QC) checklist was compiled to cover all aspects of the design phases. The checklist included these steps:

  • Checked conformance of functional requirements with the design
  • Checked accuracy of the dimensional data and consistency with equipment functionality
  • Reviewed special conditions and applicable design specifications, and consistency between design elements and details
  • Documented all calculations to support findings

Our quality control efforts resulted in little or no rework and the delivery of a high-quality plant to West Basin.