Schools seek recycled water

CITY HALL — Three local schools could become the newest users of recycled water if Glendale Water & Power receives $800,000 in stimulus funds under an application the City Council authorized Tuesday.

The grant would go toward the construction of a water line to bring recycled water to Hoover High, Toll Middle and Keppel Elementary schools — all located along a block of Glenwood Road — for the irrigation of the schools’ sports fields and other landscaping.

The utility will submit a formal application for an $800,000 grant from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which received more than $280 million in stimulus funding. An initial application was submitted in February.

While recycled water cannot be used for human or animal consumption, it can be used for irrigation and comes with a 25% discount.

“The three schools have quite a bit of area that they need to irrigate,” said Senior Engineer Raja Takidin. “Now they are using drinking water. So we want to use recycled water supply, which we have plenty of.”

The project is on a priority list that the California State Water Resources Control Board will vote on in September, but that does not ensure the city will receive the funds because other steps must be completed, said Christine White, a marketing analyst for the water board.

All funds come from the federal government, so they are insulated from the state budget crisis, she said.

As the city moves into mandatory 10% water conservation — compelled by reduced imports from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplies 70% of the city’s water — recycled water use is more important than ever, Takidin said.

“It’s always there. It’s not affected by the conservation ordinance or Metropolitan restrictions,” he said. “By using this water it replaces much more expensive water from Metropolitan.”

But building the infrastructure required to provide recycled water is expensive, he said, which is why the grant funds would be helpful. The funds would cover about 70% of the estimated $1.1-million construction of the water line.

Currently, the utility has about 45 customers — including Oakmont Cemetery and Forest Lawn — who use recycled water to irrigate a combined 1,500 acres, Takidin said.

As a part of the utility’s five-year strategic plan, which was presented to the City Council in March, city officials hope to increase the use of recycled water to 2,500 acres by 2014.

In recent outreach meetings held to gauge public concern about the impending water conservation measures, increasing the city’s use of recycled water was a common suggestion among property owners, officials said.


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