California Drought

California’s recent drought has triggered a large amount of interest in recycled water, specifically in cleaning treated sewage to the highest possible level, to transform it into a reliable source for other uses and has kickstarted a number of new wastewater treatment projects.

One of the main projects that is currently underway is the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, a collaboration with a range of agencies in the North San Joaquin Valley. This project will take tertiary-treated sewage from the Ceres, Modesto and Turlock facilities and route it through new pipelines into the Delta Mendota Canal. From there, it will be sold to Del Puerto Water District to irrigate crops on some 200 family farms throughout the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Another, unique aspect of the project is that it will benefit wildlife. The Bureau of Reclamation has the option to purchase up to 20% of the water for wildlife reservations to satisfy requirements of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Six federal and state refuges will also receive this water from the Delta-Mendota Canal.

The $90 million project started in August 2016 and once completed could deliver over 50,000- acre-feet of recycled water, annually, to wildlife habitats and farms in significantly dry areas.

Key Facts on the Project

The project is the first of its kind in Central Valley, it is also one of the biggest agricultural beneficial reuse projects in California and potentially the whole of the United States.

Water will travel through a very simple pipeline project connecting the existing facilities. Once the construction is complete, there will be a pipeline that connects the current outfall from the Turlock wastewater treatment plant to the Modesto wastewater treatment plant.

Later on, there will be a route under the San Joaquin river, that stretches up to around 6 miles, where it will join the Delta-Mendota canal, where the outfall facility will be constructed. This will be built so it will have the ability to redeliver the facility’s share of recycled water to all the turnouts its district serves, both north and south outfall facilities.

Recycled Water PlantThe Clean Water State Revolving Fund will be funding this project. The Turlock component will be financed by the state revolving funds and the Modesto component loan is already in place and has financed it with their loan of 1% interest every 30 years. They have also delivered a $15 million grant to the project which came from Proposition 1 funds for recycled water projects.


Belmar Technologies design, build, install, commission and service complete industrial wastewater treatment systems for a wide range of sectors. For more information or to discuss our services further, please feel free to get in touch either by email to mail@belmartechnologies.co.uk or by calling +44 (0) 1327 586 008.