Who would have guessed that 1 of the top 25 most advanced water reclamation facilities in the world would be right here in the valley! Those who are not familiar with the valley I am sure have not heard of the City of Visalia. Visalia is located off the highway 99 just 45 minutes south of Fresno and the location of mentioned advanced facility.
Visalia had the grand idea of expanding and retrofitting their current wastewater treatment plant back in 2013 give or take. After all of those years with plenty of check boxes checked and red tape cut the plant is officially open today. I am happy to say that the VIEW Partnership was able to jump on board and recommend California’s Savings by Design program before beginning the design phase of the project. By participating in the program the city was able to accumulate $500,000 in incentive monies which can help to offset the cost of the overall project.
Now that I have boasted on SJVCEO’s involvement with saving monies for the city lets dive into some of the impressive project details. One upgrade to the facility was the fine screening and MBR treatment this function which allows flow through a hollow fiber material system that separates solids and liquids. Second is the UV disinfection process. This upgrade allowed the city to discontinue using chlorine to disinfect the system. Sure it may take a little more energy but allows for less worker and environmental impact. Third, a recycled water pumping and distribution system. This system allows the city to reuse the treated water to irrigate public spaces such as parks and golf courses. From this recycled water system the city was able to partner with Tulare Irrigation District to allow TID customers to receive the recycled water for an agreed upon 20 year contract. Fourth, the facility is able to recover solids from their processes and reused for land or fertilizer use.
This facility has many bells and whistles when it comes to technology and I haven’t event touched the renewables. In total the facility has bio-gas generation from anaerobic digestion as well as 1-MW solar system which is able to offset about 20-30% of the facilities energy use.
Sure treatment plants are not the most glamours but serve a very important purpose. The City of Visalia’s facility goes above and beyond to address future need and environment worries. We are glad to see the San Joaquin Valley being recognized when it comes to environmental milestones.
Also on a side note, the facility directors enjoy having visitors and are open to tours!