South Bay News
Santa Clara Co. building high-tech water treatment facility
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Clara Valley Water District is building a state of the art water recycling plant that could someday make even the dirtiest water drinkable.
The water from the new facility will not be for drinking. Instead it will be used for irrigation and industry. But the technology could one-day be used to clean even waste water.
It is an elaborate and intricate system of pipes and tanks, pumps and valves designed to produce the most basic of our needs water.
"The water that doesn't make it through, or the reject, or concentrate we call it, goes for a second pass," construction manager Gary Ohea said.
The new water purification center has a state-of-the art, three step process that will recycle even the dirtiest water.
"Recycled water is drought-proof, it's water that's in our county that we can use, it's water that otherwise would be going to the bay, so we're being wise stewards of the resource," water district spokesperson Jim Fielder said.
It's still under construction, but when done in mid-2013, the $65 million center will make up to 10 million gallons of highly purified water a day.
The three-step process involves microfiltration, where water is pushed through a membrane with hole one-three-hundredth the width of a human hair, then reverse osmosis, where it's forced at high pressure through a membrane with holes so small water molecules are virtually the only things getting through, and then disinfection with ultraviolet light.
"They're basically stainless steel shell; inside of the shell in contains 40 UV bulbs that run the length of the shell," Ohea said.
The result should be water that's many times cleaner than the average tap water now available in Santa Clara County.
But don't watch for it coming out of your faucet any time soon.
"This will be a test facility to really help us learn from, as we get this thing online, to learn as we treat, what are the various challenges we face and how can we overcome them through the technology," Fielder said.
santa clara county, water, san jose, south bay news, heather ishimaru
- Two dead after apartment building fire in SF
- Police arrest suspect accused of setting fire to station
- Teen girl found in Berkeley says she was kidnapped
- Local teen gets Bryan Cranston's help in promposal
- BART unveils new train car design in SF 28 min ago
- Woman struck by cab in downtown San Francisco
- Martinez parents struggle to stay at baby son's side
- Mandatory water cutbacks ordered in Livermore
- Boston Marathon bomb hoax suspect in court
- A's first pitch to honor man killed by drunk driver
- California home prices surge in March; sales fall
- WWI soldier's love letters found behind attic wall 31 min ago
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Thursday
- roundup: Fatal house fire in SF; Oakland shooting
- BART unveils new train car design in SF
28 min ago
- Bay Area residents monitor SKorea ferry...
48 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos