Irrigation Drain Water Treatment and Recovery

Tulare, CA


The purpose of this project was to expand the water resources available for supply in California by reclaiming farm wastewaters including drainwater. In order to make the project viable, toxic selenium shall be removed to prevent inorganic mineral waste brines from the desalination process from being available to waterfowl in evaporation basins.  PACE conducted over two years of research, piloting, and demonstration scale work on the selenium and desalination aspects of the system and developed preliminary construction documents for full-scale design.  PACE provided engineering design, consulting, and pilot operations services including work on different biological attachment media, post-treatment oxidation. The project objectives for the drainwater recovery project are:


        1. To utilize the otherwise unusable agricultural drainwater as a source for potable and nonpotable water, such as irrigation water and cooling water
        2. To generate useable byproducts from the dissolved minerals present in the feed source
        3. To reduce the exposure to selenium and arsenic to waterfowl and other aquatic species


This project will be one of the first to utilize agricultural runoff as a viable, profitable, and environmentally safe alternative water resource by coupling innovative design with the most current technology.


Key Features:

  • Advanced customized water treatment system for highly contaminated runoff source
  • Extensive laboratory testing and analysis
  • Separate unit treatment processes for each target constituent
  • Multi-stage treatment system with specific unit processes for pollutant removal
  • Mechanical and biological treatment
  • Automated SCADA controls with remote access

Tulare Lake Drainage District

Advanced Water Quality / Piloting, Instrumentation & Controls