The Agency operates the Non-Reclaimable Wastewater System (NRWS). The NRWS conveys high strength wastewater and exports it to treatment facilities in Los Angeles and Orange counties for eventual discharge to the Pacific Ocean.
Wastewater discharged to the NRWS consists mainly of industrial and groundwater treatment brines. Discharging to the NRWS instead of the Agency’s treatment plants keeps salt out of the recycled water, ensuring that the Agency meets the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and total nitrogen limits listed in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. This enables us to fully utilize recycled water, ensuring a reliable water supply for the region.
The NRWS consists of three trunk lines: NRWS and Etiwanda Wastewater Line (EWL) on the Agency’s north service area convey the wastewater to the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County’s sewer system; and the Inland Empire Brine Line (also known as the Santa Ana Regional Interceptor – SARI) in the Agency’s south service area conveys the wastewater from the Santa Ana Watershed to the Orange County Sanitation District’s sewer system.
The highest and best use of the Brine Line is the removal of salts from the Watershed to keep them from degrading water quality within the Watershed, thereby allowing better use of groundwater resources and expanding the ability to reclaim water. The long-term goal of achieving salt balance within the region depends on the ability to remove salts from the watershed via the Brine Line. Further use of desalters depends on an economical means of salt disposal and ultimately will depend on an economically viable regional IE Brine Line. Click here for information on the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority’s Brine Line.