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WRD Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning Program Management

Reducing imported water demand by replenishing groundwater basins and protecting against seawater intrusion.
  • Rendering shows the Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling in Pico Rivera - Gannett Fleming.

    The state-of-the-art advanced water treatment facility will help maintain a sustainable water supply.

  • Crews install a 16-inch HDPE pipeline along a city street - Gannett Fleming.

    A new pipeline allows efficient discharge of brine and membrane backwash from the treatment plant to ocean outfall.

Water Replenishment District of Southern California

Los Angeles County, California

Our Role
Preliminary Design, Pipeline Component Final Design, Program Management, Procurement Management, Contract Compliance.

10,000 acre-feet per year 
Construction Cost
$156 million
In progress
New Construction
  • Dependable, potable water supply for 4 million people
  • 3.25 billion gallons of recycled water annually for groundwater recharge
  • Sustainable local water supply creates resilient, drought-proof replenishment source.

The Central and West Coast Groundwater Basins in Southern Los Angeles County supply drinking water for over 4 million people—11% of California’s population. Groundwater in these basins has traditionally been replenished by three sources: imported water, stormwater, and recycled water. Due to persistent drought, growing demand for imported water, and environmental restrictions, Water Districts throughout California have attempted to develop solutions to reduce the strain on imported water. To increase the sustainability and resilience of Southern Los Angeles County’s water supply, the Water Replenishment District created the Water Independence Now (WIN) program to expand the use of recycled water to recharge the basin using a completely locally sustainable source of water for replenishment.

Gannett Fleming is part of the integrated program management team, from project development through transitional operation, for the construction of the Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning, an advanced water treatment facility (AWTF) in Pico Rivera. In this role, our firm led the design-build procurement phase for this centerpiece of the WIN program, preparing Requests for Letters of Interest (LOI), Requests for Qualifications (RFQ), and detailed Requests for Proposals (RFP). The team also developed final design for connections to existing tertiary water pipelines, as well as brine disposal facilities, as part of the overall WIN program.

What We Did

The state-of-the-art AWTF will produce an annual 3.25 billion gallons of ultra-pure recycled water to be percolated and injected into underground aquifers to replenish the Central Basin. The facility will help eliminate the need to import water for replenishment. For the project’s second phase, the team provided program management support and assisted in contract negotiations with the design-build team. Since commencing the design-build period, program management has included oversight of the designer and contractor to ensure contract compliance, permitting, and utility coordination.

Our firm also provided final design for a 1,300-foot, 16-inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipeline to carry brine from the AWTF to an existing sewer line for disposal in accordance with state and federal requirements. The team conducted regular on-site inspections, monitoring, and reporting to ensure the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) during pipeline construction. It also assisted with the conceptual development of potential locations, concepts, and criteria for a future regional brackish water reclamation project.

Key Features

  • New AWTF produces 3.25 billion gallons of recycled water each year
  • 1,300-foot HDPE disposal pipeline carries brine to existing sewer system
  • Pipeline construction in accordance with appropriate BMPs ensures environmental protection.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • The center’s water-efficient native plantings and low-flow irrigation systems using recycled water result in 60% water savings.
  • Integrated stormwater management system includes four bio-retention basins, vegetated open space, porous concrete and pervious paver parking lot, and garden roof.
  • On-site photovoltaic system replaces an estimated 380 metric tons per year of equivalent CO2 emissions.

Awards & Recognition

  • Merit Award, 2020, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) California, Engineering Excellence Awards

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