City of Los Angeles’ Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant Earns Envision Platinum

Advanced Water Purification Facility at the City of Los Angeles’ Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant Earns Envision Platinum Award for Sustainability

The purpose of the $48 million Advanced Water Purification Facility project, funded by California Proposition 84 (the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006) is to provide safe recycled water purified for potable reuse to the surrounding area. Planning for this project started back in the mid 1980’s and the construction of the facility was broken into two phases. Phase 1, completed in 2001, provided 6 million gallons per day (MGD) of recycled water using microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and disinfection with chloramine, and a pipeline distribution network to accommodate up to 22 MGD of recycled water for future phases. Phase 2, completed at the end of 2017, increases the capacity of the facility from 6 MGD to 12 MGD and replaces disinfection with chloramine with a more advanced oxidization process (AOP) that uses a combination of ultraviolet light and sodium hypochlorite. This is the first facility of its kind to use this particular AOP which, in addition to providing high quality potable water, also results in economic benefits compared with more traditional treatment processes.

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City of Davis’ Wastewater Treatment Plant Earns Envision Silver

The Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Secondary and Tertiary Improvements project in Davis, California has earned the Envision Silver Award for sustainable infrastructure.

The Davis WWTP project involves the design and construction of improvements to the existing WWTP in order to meet State and Federal regulatory discharge requirements contained in the 2012 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The project includes new secondary biological treatment, which is replacing the existing ponds and overland flow treatment system with an activated sludge process. The project also includes new tertiary filtration advanced treatment facilities, an upgraded disinfection system, ponds for flow equalization, system redundancy and allowances for future treatment capacity, new solids handling facilities, and remodeled operations, laboratory and maintenance facilities.

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Platinum for Digester Gas Utilization Project

The Digester Gas Utilization Project at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (HWRP) in Los Angeles, California has earned the Envision Platinum award for sustainable infrastructure.

The $127 million Digester Gas Utilization Project is a combined-cycle cogeneration system that converts 7.5 million cubic feet of biogenic digester gas produced daily at the HWRP to electricity and steam which is used as the primary renewable fuel source to meet the Plant’s power and heating demands. The implementation of this system reduces the Plant’s carbon footprint and lowers operating expenses as the Plant is able to reduce the amount of electricity and steam it imports for its operations. In order to accommodate this new system, the project team modified the interior of the HWRP’s Energy Recovery Building—a building that has largely sat vacant since the late 1990’s—to house the new equipment for the Digester Gas Utilization Project.

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Envision v3 – Another Step Up

“New Version of Rating System Announced!” Scary words for some. There is often fear about the new requirements, a mad dash to complete as many projects as possible under the current version, and questions about the added value. C&S had the opportunity to dive into Envision Version 3 (v3) in its very early stages, as we incorporated the guidance into a sustainability toolkit for the County of Sacramento Department of Airports. Having applied the previous version on a number of projects and after reviewing the draft v3 Guidance Manual, we anxiously awaited the release of the v3 Guidance Manual to develop the toolkit. What did we notice, beyond the obvious structural and procedural changes?

  • Greater Clarity on “What it Takes” – The rating system encourages project teams to go beyond conventional design, advancing to higher levels of sustainability (termed “Levels of Achievement”), with additional points associated with each level. Envision is undeniably flexible, which is a major advantage compared to other rating systems, but this flexibility has led to challenges in determining “what it takes” to qualify for each level. The new version maintains crucial flexibility while providing additional guidance to help teams rate and enhance their projects.
  • More Accountability – Like most rating systems, new versions typically require a greater level of accountability to ensure follow-through to commitments. Envision v3 is no different. Project teams were previously able to achieve awards at the 95% design stage. There is still an option to do so under v3, but a post-construction follow-up review is now required to maintain the award. The additional accountability is a crucial step as we strive for improved overall performance, not just improved design.
  • Expanded Emphasis of Resilience – Working with airports, we have always appreciated Envision’s emphasis on resilience and adaptation. The new version goes even further to integrate these priorities across the different credits, and makes enhancements to the specific Climate & Resilience category.
  • Embracing the Full Life Cycle of a Project – Under v2, certain credits focused exclusively on a particular stage of a project, e.g., waste diversion during operation. V3 makes both procedural changes (related to the process for verification) and credit revisions/additions that better encompass the important decision-making that can impact all stages of a project. For example, there are now separate construction and operation credits for the reduction of waste, water, and energy.

In essence, all of the great things about Envision remain – but its value to the long-term resiliency of our projects and communities has increased.


Carly Shannon, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP

Managing Planner, Sustainability Leader

C&S Companies