Port of Long Beach Recycled Water and Stormwater Harvesting Feasibility Study - Conserving Potable Water and Protecting Water Quality
The Port of Long Beach (Port) Water Recycling and Stormwater Harvesting Study (Study) is a significant step in reducing negative impacts and continuing environmentally friendly Port operations. Protection of water quality and conservation of potable water supplies are top priorities of the Port. Using recycled water and capturing and using stormwater on-site can offset potable water demand, result in reduction of pollutant discharges, and comprises an important component of the Port’s water supply portfolio. Potential projects and programs to use recycled water and to capture stormwater are particularly important to consider, not only because of the increasing economic value of this water supply but also because the projects address a host of other challenges faced by the Port, including: 1) reducing dependence on imported water; 2) meeting federal water quality mandates; 3) providing enhanced flood protection; and 4) providing climate mitigation and adaptation opportunities.
Described below is the approach the Port and its consultant, Stantec, took in conducting this Study.
To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the recycled water system in the vicinity of the Port, the Project Team engaged several agencies to assess the availability of unused recycled water that could be conveyed to the Port. Recycled water demand by potential industrial customers and other possible end uses within the Port were evaluated. Required treatment to meet end use needs was also determined. Distribution system needs (pump stations, pipe network, and storage) were assessed. Feasibility and costs of separating the fire suppression system from the potable water supply system and using reclaimed water instead was also evaluated. Additionally, the feasibility of installing a new recycling water facility within the Harbor District, owned and operated by the Port, was also assessed. Such a facility would scalp local wastewater from the sewage system and pump it to a small packaged facility for treatment to recycled water standards (Title 22) at a minimum.
Stormwater Harvesting and Use
The NPDES municipal separate storm sewer system permit issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board requires a reduction in the level of many pollutants (e.g., metals, PAHs, DDT, PCBs, bacteria, and other toxics) discharged to downstream waterbodies.
The City of Long Beach, including the Port is implementing a Watershed Management Program to achieve pollutant reductions in its waterbodies. A Reasonable Assurance Analysis determined the Port will need to capture/treat stormwater to achieve the 20% interim milestone by March 28, 2024 and final compliance milestone by March 23, 2032.
There are a number of stormwater capture and reuse opportunities that the Port evaluated which include:
• Retrofit of existing Harbor District land (3,200-acres).
• Incorporation of stormwater harvesting and reuse as part of the aggressive new development/redevelopment plan.
• Implementation of stormwater harvesting and reuse at industrial sites.
• Conveying flows to the LB-MUST Facility.
• Diversion of urban runoff and stormwater to the sanitary collection system.
The resulting feasibility study outlines the Port’s strategies through March 23, 2032 to implement recycled water and stormwater projects and programs, and to cooperate with others on projects that will contribute to more reliable and sustainable local water supplies. The feasibility study is a planning document that quantifies stormwater capture potential and identifies new projects, programs, and policies to significantly increase stormwater capture for water supply and pollutant discharge reduction. Projects and programs were prioritized based on water supply criteria, pollutant load removal, and other benefits of stormwater capture and partnership opportunities. The Study also presents costs and benefits for proposed projects based on triple-bottom-line evaluation.