Malibu city officials and local legislators along with representatives of the State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards and local residents and business members gathered recently to celebrate a new Smart Water Management Civic Center Water Treatment Facility. The project supports the city’s efforts to address California’s drought by reducing the use of high-quality drinking water to irrigate public spaces and parks. At full capacity, the treatment facility will save the Malibu community 70 million gallons of much-needed drinking water annually.
“For decades, the City of Malibu, its businesses and residents have been trailblazers and respected leaders committed to protecting our natural resources and promoting responsible environmental programs,” said Mayor Rick Mullen. “The new water treatment facility furthers our commitment to smart, environmentally sound water management practices while combatting the realities of climate change.”
The new treatment plant uses multiple processes to produce clean, Title 22 compliant recycled water. Processes include particle filtration, centrifuges, ultra-fine filtration membranes, bio-digestion, and UV light to kill any lingering bacteria and viruses. The millions of gallons of clean, recycled water produced will irrigate popular community gathering areas and public spaces, including Legacy Park, Bluffs Park, and City Hall.
“Malibu may be a small city, but when it comes to environmental stewardship, it stands tall,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-50th District-Santa Monica) in a written statement. “The city has consistently been a leader on issues ranging from plastic pollution to water quality. It comes as no surprise that it would apply that same spirit of environmental leadership in opening this new state-of-the-art water recycling facility, which will benefit the environment and the Malibu community.”
In order to fund the $60 million state-of-the-art facility a number of financial transactions were completed. The cooperation of Civic Center property owners, with assistance from the State Water Board formed the core of the process. The city formed a community facilities district to fund the design of the project and then formed an assessment district among Civic Center properties to fund the construction. The city was able to secure a 1 percent interest State Revolving Fund loan of $24.6 million and a 1.7 percent interest State Revolving Fund Loan of $26.8 million that helps lower the annual assessments for each property owner. A $9 million grant toward the project was also secured.
“This advanced water treatment facility puts Malibu at the forefront of water recycling to address climate change and drought,” said Senator Henry Stern (D-27th District Calabasas) whose district includes Malibu. “As someone who grew up in Malibu, I couldn’t be prouder of the city’s environmental leadership.”
“Every drop of water is precious to L.A. County. Malibu’s new state-of-the-art water treatment facility will move us closer to a sustainable future by recycling treated wastewater and using it to keep our public spaces green,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (L.A. County District 3).
Attendees of the recent ribbon cutting took guided tours of the new facility to view and learn about the system’s major features. Using innovative technology, the facility will capture and treat up to 200,000 gallons of wastewater daily and convert the water for irrigation purposes. Other dignitaries attending the celebratory event included State Water Resources Control Board Deputy Director Leslie Laudon and Regional Water Quality Control Board Chair Madelyn Glickfeld.