Metropolitan Water District
Metropolitan Water District

TriStar Dyeing and Finishing partners with Metropolitan Water District for water-saving project

Santa Fe Springs-based textile company Tri-Star Dyeing and Finishing Inc. has recently partnered with Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California to achieve a mutually beneficial solution to save time, money and water. The fabric dyeing company is installing a water recycling system at its facility with the help of nearly $700,000 in incentives from MWD. Instead of discharging its waste water, the company will treat the water using microfiltration and reverse osmosis and then reuse it in the dyeing process. MWD refers to it as a triple winning situation.

“It’s a win-win-win,” Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record said. “Tri-Star saves money, we conserve a lot of water, and the environment is protected from polluted discharge.”

The financial incentives for Tri-Star are part of the water district’s Water Savings Incentive Program (WSIP), which offers funding for commercial, industrial, agricultural and large landscape projects that reduce water consumption. Projects are funded based on how much water they save; recipients can receive up to $195 per acre-foot of water saved for up to 10 years.

Tri-Star’s dye machines currently use about 160 million gallons — 491 acre-feet — of water a year to process more than 16 million pounds of fabric. The new water recycling system is expected to save approximately 3,540 acre feet of water the next decade, making it eligible for an incentive of up to $692,000 under an agreement approved this month by Metropolitan’s board of directors. The new process will also allow the dyeing and finishing company to avoid meeting or exceeding pollutant limits for its discharged water effluent, thereby saving time and money.

The Tri-Star project involves installing an electro-coagulation based recycling system that removes colors and suspended solids. The water recycling process is accomplished with ozone treatment, manganese greensand filters, microfiltration and reverse osmosis. The system is expected to save more than 70 percent of the water used. Tri-Star anticipates the $3 million recycling system will pay for itself in a few years, according to project consultant Derek Kim.

“Once they install the new units, their discharge issues will go away, and they’ll save a lot of water and a lot of money,” said Kim, director of business development for Econity, which produces the recycling system. “Right now, they spend about $200,000 a month for water-related costs, including discharge and operation and maintenance. Once it’s installed, they will pay around $150,000.”

MWD’s WSIP offers funding for commercial, industrial, agricultural and large landscape projects that reduce water consumption. Projects are funded based on how much water they save; recipients can receive up to $195 per acre-foot of water saved for up to 10 years. Through the water savings program Metropolitan has funded 125 projects over the past four years. Thus far, the anticipated savings will total nearly 30,000 acre-feet of water.

“There are a lot of opportunities to conserve water at commercial and industrial facilities, but each facility usually requires a unique and innovative approach, not a one-size-fits-all solution. The Water Savings Incentive Program allows us to support customized projects that reduce water use at different types of facilities,” Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said. “It is one of a portfolio of programs and investments that build our local supplies and help us secure water reliability long into the future by reducing our reliance on imported water.”

In August, Metropolitan’s board also approved $1.8 million in WSIP incentives for three other dye companies — Daeshin USA, Inc. in Fullerton, Hitex Dyeing and Finishing in Industry and Lekos Dye and Finishing in Rancho Dominguez — for a combined anticipated water savings of 9,180 acre-feet over 10 years.

Under WSIP, Metropolitan will make its first payment to Tri-Star after the project is installed and operating. It will make another payment after one year of monitoring to verify the actual water savings. The incentive may not exceed 50 percent of eligible project costs.

“We’re looking everywhere we can to save water,” Kightlinger said. “There is water to be saved in homes, on farms, on golf courses and in industrial facilities. Metropolitan is working hard to support water savings at all of them.”

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