Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility

Santa Paula, California

The Santa Paula Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) is one of the largest Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) facilities in California and features all-enclosed treatment made possible by innovative common-wall design and creative redundancy features. PACE provided engineering design services for all aspects of the facility, including process and mechanical, structural and architectural design, site civil grading and infrastructure as well as off-site utility design. In addition, PACE provided engineering support services during construction and assisted in completing the entire design and construction of the facility in a total of 18 months. The state-of-the-art 4.2 MGD MBR treatment facility meets wastewater flow projections through the year 2025 and ensures a neighbor-friendly facility both in terms of aesthetics and odor. The treated effluent meets California’s stringent Title 22 effluent requirements allowing for full reuse opportunity or groundwater recharge.

The completed facility includes a 17 MGD influent lift station, twin progressive coarse-grit-fine screening headworks, two-stage surge attenuation basins, three activated sludge – biological nutrient removal trains totaling 11.4 MGD of capacity, six hollow-fiber membrane separation trains and an NWRI compliant UV disinfection system to meet California Title 22 Reuse Water Standards. Effluent from the facility is discharged to percolation basins adjacent to the plant to be returned to the Santa Clara River Basin. Waste sludge is pre-thickened and processed to EPA Class B reuse standards on-site with a 3-stage aerobic digestion process followed by a screwpress for dewatering. Final solids are sent to the new Ventura County Regional Bio-Solids facility.

Some of the unique aspects of the project design included the use of high-speed, single-stage turbine blower units and ultra-fine bubble aeration, which reduced the overall energy consumption of the facility by 15 to 20%. Additionally, the use of screw presses rather than centrifuges for dewatering further reduce power demand at the plant.

Advanced Elements:

  • One of the largest operating MBR facilities in California that produces high quality effluent far exceeding California Title 22 Recycled Water Standards for unrestricted reuse.
  • Common wall construction and covered underground process tanks further minimizes site footprint while providing thermal insulation and odor control of the biological process
  • Architectural design and water features provide an aesthetically pleasing element for the community as opposed to traditional WWTP concrete clad design.
  • Received a $500,000 energy grant from Southern California Edison for the installation of turbine blower technology coupled with fine bubble membrane aeration system, which maximizes aeration efficiency and significantly reduces aeration power.
  • Award recognition by Global Water Intelligence, Design-Build Institute of America and the Environmental Business Journal