Burbank Water Reclamation Plant

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HISTORY AND BACKGROUND. The City of Burbank Water Reclamation Plant (BWRP) is a tertiary wastewater treatment plant that currently treats 9 million gallons of sewage per day (MGD). The BWRP was built in 1966 to meet the wastewater and sewer needs of the growing residential population and expanding commercial industries located in the City of Burbank. Before the BWRP was built, the City of Burbank sent all of its wastewater to the City of Los Angeles for treatment and disposal.

Originally built to treat 6 MGD, the City upgraded the BWRP to the current 9 MGD in 1971. The plant was upgraded in 2000 to ensure that its meets new stringent regulations raising the quality of the cleaned wastewater it discharges after the treatment process. The plant was upgraded again in 2002 to remove ammonia from the wastewater.

The BWRP is located at 740 North Lake Street.

TREATMENT PROCESS. Sewage sent to the BWRP goes through several steps in the treatment process.

Barscreens - Barscreens remove large solids that are sent into a grinder. All solids are then dumped into a sewer pipe and sent to the City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Treatment Plant.

Primary Settling Tanks - Readily settable and floatable solids are removed from the wastewater. These solids are skimmed from the top and bottom of the tanks and sent to the Hyperion Treatment Plant.

Secondary Treatment - The wastewater is cleaned through a biological treatment method that uses microorganisms or tiny bugs. Air bubbles up to keep the organisms suspended and to supply oxygen to the bugs so they can metabolize the food, convert it to energy, CO2, and water, and reproduce more microorganisms. The bugs also help to remove ammonia through a complex series of reactions.

Secondary Settling Tanks - The force of the flow slows down as sewage enters these tanks, allowing the microorganisms to settle to the bottom. As they settle, other small particles suspended in the water are picked up, leaving behind clear wastewater. Some of the microorganisms that settle to the bottom are returned to the system to be used again, while the excess microorganisms are washed out.

Tertiary Treatment - Seven deep-bed, single-media, gravity sand filters receive water from the secondary basins and filter out the remaining solids. As this is the final process to remove solids, the water in these filters is almost completely clear.

Chlorine Contact Tanks - Three chlorine contact tanks disinfect the water to decrease the risks associated with discharging wastewater containing human pathogens. This step protects the quality of the waters that receive the wastewater discharge.

Reclaimed Water Pump Station - The pump station distributes reclaimed water to users around the City. Of the 330 million gallons of reclaimed water distributed over the last year, 50% was used for the cooling tower at the Burbank Water and Power steam power plant, 30% was used at Debell golf course, 10% was used at the City of Burbank Landfill, and 10% went to other uses.

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