SPECIAL FEATURES OF MEMBER AGENCY
City of Long Beach Water Department (the Department) joined Metropolitan as one of its original cities in 1931. In addition to delivering water through 911 miles of water mains, with 6,603 fire hydrants, 31 water wells and 36 storage tanks (3.2MG each), the Department is responsible for the operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of the city’s sanitary sewer system – consisting of 712 miles of sewer mains, 16,147 manholes and 28 sewer pump stations.
In 2011, the Department celebrated its Centennial anniversary. For over 100 years, the Department has provided Long Beach residents and businesses with a reliable, cost-effective and high-quality drinking water supply. In addition, the Department has established itself as one of California’s leaders in the areas of water conservation and environmental stewardship.
The Department remains committed to developing alternatives to imported potable (drinking) water supplies to meet the water needs of the City. Reclaimed water will continue to be an integral part in efforts to reduce our need to purchase imported water and to develop new sources of water. Since October 1, 2005, the Department, on contract with the Water Replenishment District (WRD), has operated a 3.0 million gallon per day reverse osmosis water treatment plant, enabling WRD to use recycled water from the Long Beach Water Reclamation Plant to replace up to 3,000 acre-feet per year of imported water previously supplied to the Alamitos Barrier. The Alamitos Barrier is an engineered freshwater pressure ridge and seawater trough constructed to prevent seawater intrusion into the Central Groundwater Basin of Los Angeles County and neighboring Orange County Groundwater Basin.
The Department has also partnered with the Metropolitan and the California Department of Water Resources on a groundwater storage program. The $4.5 million project, which was funded with moneys received from the State, can store up to 13,000 acre feet of surplus water in the Central Basin, which can be called upon during drought conditions in southern California. A second, $2.7 million joint conjunctive use project with the City of Lakewood was completed in 2009 which allows for storage of an additional 1,800 acre feet of surplus water. The amounts stored in the Lakewood project may also be called upon during drought conditions.
The Department continues to seek out cost-effective methods for expanding its utilization of alternative water supply sources and water conservation programs.