How Laptop Power Supplies Work

Power supplies exist to convert the AC voltage supplied by power lines into DC voltage necessary to power a device such as a cell phone charger, a laptop, or a television.
The power supply needs to lower the AC voltage from 120 V (in the US) to the rated power of the laptop (usually around 20 V). The power supply also has circuit breakers and low and high pass filters to filter out the noise.

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A Doll’s House Outline

Thesis: Through the theme of Alienation in A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen demonstrates that family roles, relationships, and societal expectations are a determining factor in alienation.

Topic Sentence #1: Using family roles and relationships, Henrik Ibsen proves his theme of Alienation throughout A Dolls House.

  • Torvald is always calling his wife Nora childlike names, so that she is isolated and also alienated from everything except himself. “Nora: I must stand quite alone, if I am to understand myself and everything about me”(Ibsen 64).
  • Torvald is also constantly treating Nora like a child. “Nora: he called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with me dolls. And [then] I came to live with you”(Ibsen 63).
  • Nora and Torvald have very different roles in their family, and this is due to societal expectations. Society has put men at a much higher level and far above women, therefore alienating men and women. “Nora: we have been married now for eight years. Does it not occur to you that this is the first time we two, you and I, husband and wife, have had a serious conversation?” (Ibsen 63).

Topic Sentence #2: Using societal expectations, Henrik Ibsen illustrates his theme of alienation throughout A Dolls House.

  • Societal expectations and basically societal views are constantly changing the way that people think. Not only does it effect the way that people think, but also the way that people act. Nora saved her husbands life, although Helmer cares more about his honor and about what people will think about him than his own life. “No religion, no morality, no sense of duty. How am I punished  for having winked at what he did! I did it for your sake, and this is how you repay me.” (Ibsen 60)
  • Only when Helmer reads the second letter of Kragstad is when he realizes that “I know what you did , you did out of love for me”(Ibsen 61).
  • The only reason as to why Torvald is so angry at Nora in the first place is because he was scared about his honor and his new promotion as manager of the bank.

Concluding Idea: Henrik Ibsen’s theme of alienation is very apparent throughout A Dolls House, because of family roles, relationships, and societal views and expectations. At one point or another everyone in A Dolls House is alienated.

Read the full essay at EssayFox

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HP Mini review

I’ve had the Hp Mini 110 for about two weeks, and the conclusions are not very
amusing. The screen size is OK, but most would agree that it for sure would look better
with a glossy screen. At the start of July 8th, the Hp mini, was available with new
glossy colors for its exterior finish. In addition, in July a new feature will be that the
Hp mini will be bale to be customized to a HD screen. The keyboard is perfect sized for
little hands to teen hands. I would not recommend this for adults on small business.
The battery life is only three hours with a 3 cell. I bought the 3 cell but now for sure I
would suggest upgrading to a six cell, especially if you plan to travel with the hp mini.
The battery is both extremely hard to put into the net book and to take out of it. A
magnetic adapter for sure would be better! The exterior is fairly thin, and the front
power button and wifi button with the led lights looks very futuristic. Although this
design looks nice, I believe that the power button should have been placed in the same
area close to the keyboard. The flick design for the power button also gets extremely
annoying. The vga output is very useful, and the 3 usb ports are very convenient.
For the small price of this small but powerful machine, this for sure is a great buy!

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Bullet Penetration in Water

I have often wondered how far a bullet can penetrate water, since water is incompressible. In engineering, the density of water is often taken as constant. The theoretical analysis of bullet penetration in water is very difficult, so to get a reasonable answer, empirical data is necessary. To this end mythbusters tested a 9 mm pistol, the M1 Garand .30 caliber, a replica civil war black powder rifle, a shotgun and a .50 cal rifle. The results were that you’d have to be 3 feet under the water to be safe when the gun fires at a 30 degree angle. For most guns fired directly above (90 degree angle), you’d be safe at depths of 8 feet.

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How baking Soda works

Baking soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate, NaHCO3, is used in cooking to release carbon dioxide, and help dough rise, or in the refrigerator to remove odors. Chemistry labs have baking soda in plentiful supply to neutralize both acids and bases, since baking soda is amphoteric. In the past, baking soda was ingested to treat stomach aches and acid indigestion and heartburn. Baking soda is even used to absorb the musty and old smell of old books.

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How glow sticks work

Glow sticks work with through a chemical reaction that creates chemoluminescence. A glass capsule contains the solution, while the plastic casing contains the inner fluid. After bending the glow stick, the glass capsule breaks and the two solutions mix. Chemoluminescence involves light being emitted as a result of a chemical reaction. Glowsticks are waterproof and do not generate heat. Despite the fears of some, glow sticks are not radioactive. They do however contain hydrogen peroxide and phenol, which should not be ingested.

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Agricultural Water Reuse for San Diego County Proposal

Water pollution by any means is terrible! Make sure you voice your opinion on DownaPeg.


Agricultural Water Reuse for San Diego County



Table of Contents

Introduction 2

Background Information 3

Secondary and Tertiary Treatment vs. Desalination 3

Health Effects of Agriculture using Tertiary Treated Wastewater 4

Constituents of Reclaimed Water 5

Emerging Contaminants 6

Affected Crops in San Diego 7

Advantages and Disadvantages 7

Current Laws and Policy in San Diego 8

Project Description 9

Strategy for Change 11

Costs of Upgrading PLWTP to Secondary and Constructing Tertiary Plant 11

Estimated Pipeline Costs 11

Bonds & Funding 12

Target Audience 14

Political and Social Entities 14

Public Support and Exposure 14

Benefits and Risks 16

Conclusion 16

Appendices 18

Appendix A: Desalination 18

Appendix B: Secondary and Tertiary Treatment 20

Appendix C: Projected Timeline 22

Appendix D: List of Public Entities Targeted 23

References 24




Due to the semi-arid climate in San Diego, over 90% of the city’s water is imported from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and the Colorado River—two sources that are expected to yield less water in the future—while the remaining 10% is obtained from groundwater resources.  Moreover, the water supply obtained from the Colorado River must be reduced by 800,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) by 2015 in order to comply with the 1922 Colorado River Compact and a recent mandate by the Department of the Interior. In addition, runoff to the Colorado River may be reduced by climate changes by as much as 400,000 acre-feet by 2025 and 800,000 before the end of the century.

San Diego County has the 12th largest agricultural economy in the United States, which happens to be the county’s 5th most important industry.  For this reason San Diego investments have attracted a lot of attention in the last decade. They have over 300,000 acres of farmland with a combined market value of $1.054 billion in agricultural products.  As water supplies from the Colorado River are drastically reduced, where can the water for San Diego’s agriculture industry come from? The answer is from treated wastewater, or nonpotable reuse.  In this proposal, suggestions are made to upgrade the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant (PLWTP) to full secondary treatment and to construct a nearby tertiary treatment plant in Del Mar Mesa. In doing so, 175 million gallons per day (mgd) of reclaimed water will be available for agricultural use in San Diego County.

By implementing reclaimed water for agricultural purposes, San Diego County will be able to sustain its agriculture industry even in the face of reduced imported water supplies. In 2000, the total water use in San Diego County was 694,995 AFY, of which 251,129 AFY (224.1 mgd) was used for agriculture.  The 170 mgd of reclaimed water from PLWTP will thus be able to provide over 75% of San Diego County’s agricultural needs.  This will greatly alleviate the amount of water imported from both the MWD and the Colorado River.


Background Information

Secondary and Tertiary Treatment vs. Desalination

California has considered desalination, groundwater recharge, indirect potable use, and direct potable reuse as options for expanding its local, drinkable water resources. Of these options, direct potable use is not allowed because the state legislature has not approved it due to public skepticism and the need for more thorough research of reclaimed water on human health. However, the recycled water is widely used for other purposes.

From Napa to Riverside, reclaimed water in agriculture is widely practiced. California Code of Regulation’s Title 22 even specifies specific standards reclaimed water must meet for various types of irrigation. On the other hand, indirect potable reuse recharges groundwater in certain regions of Southern California.  This convention has prevented saltwater intrusion, increased groundwater levels, and obstructed ground subsidence.

Since the state is slowly moving towards direct and indirect potable reuse, desalination has become a principal option.  California has aggressively advocated desalination, as evidenced by 31 proposals to build desalination plants and $50 million set aside by California Prop 50. In particular, a Carlsbad facility, currently being constructed near San Diego, will be the largest in the Western Hemisphere.  Desalination and the Carlsbad plant are described in greater detail in Appendix A: Desalination.

The current operating cost for desalination is more expensive than that of treating reclaimed water.,  However, the cheaper initial cost of desalination plants makes them more marketable to the public.  If San Diego is going to pay a premium for water, it should consider upgrading its own current water recycling facilities instead of developing more desalination plants.  The city’s largest wastewater treatment plant, PLWTP, treats 175 mgd of water, which could be traded to agricultural centers for their fresh water rights.  This concept has not been comprehensively examined; however, it could satisfy 75% of San Diego’s agricultural water demand, as previously mentioned, which saves more groundwater for local communities to use.

Currently, PLWTP uses an advanced primary treatment process, which removes 80% of solids from the wastewater.  In order for the treated water to be reused in agriculture, the water must be treated further using secondary and tertiary treatment.  Secondary treatment removes a higher percentage of solids along with any organic materials from the water; tertiary treatment removes pathogens and heavy metals.  These two processes are described in greater detail in Appendix B: Secondary and Tertiary Treatment.  The advantage of recycled water treatment is that it can be treated to different levels of purity, which can be modified accordingly.

Although upgrading a treatment facility may be costly, PLWTP is the largest urban water treatment plant in the nation to have not upgraded to secondary treatment. Regardless of San Diego’s decision to use more recycled water, the Clean Water Act (CWA) will require Point Loma to upgrade in the near future.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld says, “San Diego has likely received its last waiver of federal Clean Air Act rules for the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant.”

At the present time, all 175 mgd of treated wastewater at PLWTP is discharged into the ocean.  It defies both economic and logical sense to treat water to high standards, dump it into the ocean, then re-treat the ocean water using desalination techniques—especially when each site of intake and discharge of the water causes environmental problems.

Health Effects of Agriculture using Tertiary Treated Wastewater

When watering crops with recycled water, many people are wary of the unknown health effects that may occur in animals and humans.  This matter should not be disregarded by recycled water advocates because treated water may have higher concentrations of certain constituents than in groundwater or surface water.  However, these values differ between regions due to the following factors: municipal water supply, influent waste streams, amount and composition of infiltration in the wastewater collection system, the wastewater treatment process, and type of storage facilities.

Constituents of Reclaimed Water

When discharging treated water, the treatment facilities must obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  This regulates the types and amounts of constituents that may be released into the environment.  The main constituents taken into consideration are salinity, sodium, chlorine residual, trace elements, and the lack of nutrients.

The most important component is salinity.  Due to the increased salinity, the ground is more susceptible to dryness; therefore, less water is available to the crops.  Consequently, the produce will receive less energy resulting in smaller crops.  Similarly, sodium tends to break down the structure and quality of the soil, which prevents water from penetrating the ground due to its smaller pores.  On the other hand, chlorine tends not to affect plants unless they are sensitive, such as woody crops; as a result, leaves may become damaged, which lessens the amount of energy that the crop receives from the sun.

When referring to trace elements, these include nickel, zinc, cadmium, copper, molybdenum, and boron.  Although all of these elements are grouped in the same category, they affect the environment in different ways.  For example, low concentrations of nickel and zinc can affect plants but not animals; on the other hand, low concentrations of cadmium, copper, and molybdenum can harm animals but not plants.  A very delicate balance of tolerable chemical ranges must be established to ensure the safety of all living organisms.  To moderate these potentially harmful elements, concentration levels are customized by governmental bodies for each of the trace elements.

Lastly, the amount of nutrients in recycled water is also a concern.  Since nutrients are necessary for plants to grow, there must be sufficient amounts of them in the water and soil; however, recycled water tends to have less due to all the processes that it goes through.  The lack of nutrients may delay the crop’s maturity and reduce its quality and quantity. Consequently, additional fertilizer may be needed to supply for the crops.  These essential nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, boron, and sulfur.  The nutritional imbalance may also affect the livestock that feed on the crops because the crops may not have enough nutrition.

Emerging Contaminants

Another concern in reclaimed water is emerging contaminants.  This category can be divided into three main components: pathogens, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products.  Due to the alarming amounts of products in the wastewater, the general public may find it very unsettling.

Pathogens exist in all different kinds of forms, living in places such as feces or various bodies of water; examples include E. coli, Salmonella, and Hepatitis A.  Due to the infinite amounts of strains of bacteria and viruses, not all can be tested for in recycled water.  Although tertiary treatment filters out 93-99.99% of the pathogens, it is still not perfect.  Only with increasing filtering technology can this issue be solved.  Likewise, pharmaceutical drugs, such as Ibuprofen and antibacterial Sulfamethazine, may also become a threat to human health.  This is due to the addition amounts of chemical compounds consumed that may not be necessary for a healthy person.  As for personal care products, these include items such as shampoo, soap, and personal hygienic products.  Those chemicals can be detrimental to the body if consumed and are easily picked up by the wastewater.

Since emerging contaminants is a fairly new topic, there is a lack of information to ensure the safety of recycled water for potable reuse; however, the reclaimed water can be used for agricultural purposes because the pathogens do not enter the human body directly, and at worst lead to slightly decreased crop yields.

Affected Crops in San Diego

Although farming in San Diego is known for their production of flowers, plants, and nursery-related items, the major agricultural crop produced is avocados.  Moreover, San Diegan farms are also known for their production of oranges, tomatoes, mushrooms, grapefruit, tangerines, and nuts.  In general, most of the fruits and vegetables grown have a non-edible skin; therefore, watering those crops with direct nonpotable reclaimed water should not affect the composition of the edible components.  These farms will be targeted first, as the recycled water will have less effect on the actual crops.  However, due to the potential increase in salinity from the water, the crops may mature slower or yield smaller produce.  To mitigate the fewer nutrients in the water, the heat-treated biowaste from the sewage can be provided to the farmers as supplemental fertilizer.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Since wastewater treatment technology is relatively new and rapidly changing, not enough health impacts are known; however, the CWA has established regulations, such as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), to moderate the amount of pollutants released into the environment.  The CWA also requires water quality measurements, such as total suspended solids (TSS).  If the TSS value is high, there are more solids suspended in the water, which increases the water temperature therefore lowering the oxygen absorbed by the water.  This has a negative effect on the plants’ abilities to grow in both quantity and quality.  From an economical viewpoint, there may also be a negative impact on property values, since utilization of recycled water implies that there is a lack of water at that location.

Although there may be potential adverse effects for watering crops with treated wastewater, more benefits exist.  First, less wastewater will be dumped into bodies of water, such as the ocean.  This will be beneficial to the organisms living in or near the area of the discharge.  Another benefit is that more water can be conserved during droughts, such as the current one in California.  Lastly, San Diego will rely less on imported water sources, which saves energy from the transportation.

Current Laws and Policy in San Diego

A look at the current laws and policies in place in San Diego gives further confirmation that the proposed project is necessary for San Diego’s long term survival. For example, on July 24, 1989, the San Diego City Council adopted the Water Reclamation Ordinance, Ordinance 0-17327, which provides for the planning of wastewater reclamation facilities, fostering the use of recycled water and permitting and regulating its use. The ordinance is based on the California Water Code Section 13551, which mandates that the continued use of potable water for greenbelt irrigation and certain non-domestic water uses is an unreasonable use of the water if recycled water is available and usable for such purposes.

Furthermore, a water transfer agreement between Imperial Valley and San Diego from 2003 mandates that Imperial County gives 277,700 acre-feet of their allocated Colorado River water to San Diego, giving proof to the fact that San Diego is in dire need of more sources of water. This plan is not a panacea, however, since Imperial Valley is even more desert-like and will always need its water sources to maintain its farms, which use up a significant amount of the water.

Moreover, San Diego started mandatory water use restrictions, declaring a Level 2 Drought Alert on June 1st, 2009.  The strict restrictions address landscape irrigation, commercial and residential uses, and even fire hydrant uses.  When people fail to stop wasting water or do not comply with the restrictions, the city has a variety of penalties, including citations up to $1000, civil penalties up to $2,500, shutting off water service, and so forth.  Clearly, the city is taking conservation very seriously; however, how much can a city of 1.2 million people effectively conserve?  Surely, no amount of water they conserve will be enough to address the severe shortage of water.

In addition to laws in San Diego, the state of California has similar laws that would promote the use of recycled water. The California Water Code Section 13551 establishes a state policy that encourages the use of recycled water. Accordingly, recycled water can be used if municipal wastewater is adequately treated and meets the requirements of the existing Title 22, Chapter 3 regulations of the California Code of Regulations. Title 22 is decreed by the California Department of Public Health (DPH) and ensures health protection and also specifies how much the water has to be treated to match the intended applications.

Earlier this year, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the IPR Coalition expressed support for the indirect potable reuse demonstration project, acknowledging the need for San Diego to develop local water sources.  The IPR coalition is an alliance of San Diego environmental, business, labor, economic growth, and ratepayer advocates.  If there is such strong support for indirect potable reuse, then there is potential to get similar support for direct nonpotable reuse since both forms of recycled water help San Diego depend less on imported water.

Project Description

There are two main objectives presented in this proposal:  the upgrade of San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant (PLWTP) from an advanced primary to a full secondary treatment center and the construction of a nearby tertiary treatment center in Del Mar Mesa.  These two businesses will work in conjunction with each other to treat reclaimed urban wastewater from San Diego for agricultural purposes.  With a proposal of $2.8 billion, the two plants should begin its water treatment operations in January 2015.  Appendix C: Projected Timeline shows the intended schedule of the proposal, which includes the building of support, publicizing, funding, and construction of the venture.

There are three main deadlines that must be reached to ensure the timely operation of the two treatment facilities.  First, obtaining legislative approval of this project is vital to its successful completion.  With the government’s full support, they can help influence the community by showing their support for utilizing reclaimed water for agricultural uses.  To gain their approval before the scheduled deadline of December 2011, various political officials ranging from the federal level to the local level will be contacted.  By gaining their support, they will be able to establish subsidies and regulations that will satisfy both the technical and social demands of the project.

After obtaining approval from the legislative bodies, fundraising will begin to ensure that the financial needs will be met.  To promote the project, wastewater treatment education will be provided to the public.  As an incentive for the farmers to use recycled water, the reclaimed water will be sold at a cheaper rate than groundwater.  Through these two actions, community support will be built for the acceptance of utilizing reclaimed water in agriculture.  Bonds will be sold to various members, as it will provide for the funding; this will be gone into greater detail in the Bonds & Funding section.  The required capital needed to begin the construction will hopefully be reached by the end of 2012.

With the acquired capital, the production of the two treatment facilities may begin.  As previously mentioned, the PLWTP will be upgraded from an advanced primary to a full secondary treatment plant, and a tertiary treatment center will be constructed in Del Mar Mesa.  The finances and proposed route will be gone into greater detail in the Costs of Upgrading PLWTP to Secondary and Constructing Tertiary and Estimated Pipeline Costs sections.  The construction phase should be completed by the end of 2014; therefore, operation of the two facilities should begin in January of 2015.


Strategy for Change

Costs of Upgrading PLWTP to Secondary and Constructing Tertiary Plant

The estimated cost of upgrading the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant to secondary treatment is $1.5 billion. The main difficulty in upgrading the PLWTP to tertiary treatment is the space limitation factor. The director of MWD, Scott Tulloch, says, “The new technology of biological aerated filtration needs relatively little space, sparing ratepayers the expense of constructing another plant.”  Tulloch estimates the cost of upgrading to secondary treatment using this new technology is $500 million.  Tertiary treatment would require an expansion of the PLWTP by the purchase of more land and construction of tertiary facilities.

Since there are space limitations at the existing PLWTP, the city will need to purchase land to construct a tertiary treatment plant.  A sewage treatment plant in Orange County capable of converting 70 mgd of sewage into drinking water costs $490 million and takes up 20 acres. Since we need to treat 170 mgd, scaling up the cost and acreage requires $1.19 billion and 48.6 acres, respectively.  The tertiary plant can be constructed in Del Mar Mesa, where the going rate is $7.7 million for 25 acres.  Since approximately 50 acres is necessary to build a tertiary plant, the cost of land is $15.4 million.

Estimated Pipeline Costs

To get a realistic cost of constructing the pipeline, a similar project is examined. As recently as March 25th, 2010, plans were proposed to build a 560 mile pipeline from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the border of Wyoming and Utah to the Front Range, reaching cities as far away as Fort Collins and Boulder, Colorado. The plan calls for the delivery of up to 250,000 acre-feet of water per year (214 mgd) and has an estimated cost of $3 billion.  The water flow rate of 214 mgd is very close to that of the PLWTP output, which is 170 mgd. The cost per mile is $3 billion/560 miles, or $5.3 million/mile. This proposed pipeline will be financed by entrepreneur Aaron Million, and construction is estimated to take 2 years.  It is important not to overlook the fact that the path of the pipeline will largely follow level ground, meaning it can be mostly gravity fed, with few pumps required. Since the proposed pipeline is 20 miles, as shown in Figure 1, the total construction cost will be $106 million.


Figure 1: Proposed Pipeline from PLWTP to Del Mar Mesa

Therefore, the total cost for land purchase, pipeline construction, upgrading PLWTP to secondary treatment, and constructing a tertiary plant comes out to $15.4 + $106 + $1,500 + $1,190 million respectively, or a total of $2.8 billion.

Bonds & Funding

From the previous section, the project cost is projected to be $2.8 billion. In order to receive the funding needed for the project to come into fruition, the necessary funding will come from a combination of federal grants, Build America Bonds, municipal bonds issued by San Diego City, and lastly, public private partnerships, such as Build Operate Transfer. Issuing municipal bonds is our strategy to increase the likelihood of raising a sufficient portion of our funds for the project because interest income received by the holders of municipal bonds will be exempt from state as well as federal income tax; this will also ensure no cost to the city. The type of municipal bonds we will be issuing is a public revenue bond, as we are able to generate revenue from selling our recycled water after using the fund to upgrade San Diego’s PLWTP to secondary and constructing a tertiary plant. A specific case that our project can follow in revenue bond financing is Hyperion’s $2.2 billion financing in order to provide full secondary treatment by the sale of revenue bonds.

Additional funding can come from grants from several organizations and programs.  One sought out program we will like to seek funding from is the California Department of Water Resources. One example for this funding is West Basin Municipal Water District, which was awarded $1.7 million for its programs as it was selected as the recipient of Proposition 50.  Similarly, our project proposal can apply for Proposition 50, as we are eligible as a recipient for its funding since our project fulfills several requirements for the grant.  Additionally, we can apply for other propositions, such as Proposition 40, since our project is also eligible for the grants. Under proposition 40, chapter 4, our project can be eligible for $261 million as a Southern California agency to reduce Colorado River water use.  If our project is eligible for the targeted requirements, the project will be able to receive up to $700 million to $1 billion funding from both of these propositions.

A large portion of our funding will come from revenue bonds and our targeted grants, but additional funding for the project will be from public private partnerships, such as Build Operate Transfer.  With the combination of these funding sources, the project will be able to hit the targeted budget to finance the project.

Target Audience

Political and Social Entities

The primary audience targeted is the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders.  With Mayor Sanders’s support, the proposed upgrade of PLWTP and the construction of a tertiary wastewater treatment center in Del Mar Mesa can be set into motion due to his influential authoritative position.  If Mayor Sanders endorses this project, he can persuade other local governmental bodies for its funding and approval.  During his tenure, Mayor Sanders has been promoting water conservation and the improvement of water reliability and quality.  If he advocates for the proposed idea, agricultural reuse of reclaimed water should be quickly accepted by regulating bodies, as it would also improve their water conservation reputation.  Although San Diego’s water consumption has dropped 13.9% from July 2008 to July 2009, there is still a need for the city to use more local water instead of the water imported from the MWD and Colorado River.  Not only will this proposal benefit the county during climate changes, such as the current intensive drought in Southern California, it will also prepare the community for any change in political or societal regulations that may affect their livelihood both economically and socially.

Although Mayor Sanders is the primary target for the acceptance of this proposal, Appendix D: List of Public Entities Targeted contains a list of public entities that will also be contacted for their support.  Potentially, they will approve of the venture and partner up with the campaign.

Public Support and Exposure

Finding support for the proposed tertiary plant is essential for a smooth and successful construction.  To gain public approval of the plan, advocacy from government agencies ranging from federal to state to local groups is needed.  Contacting US Congressmen, California Senators, San Diego County Public Officials, Regional Water Districts, City Councils, and many others are necessary to spread the proposal.

The community must be well-informed of any changes so that the transition will be easier for them to accept.  It is important to reach the correctly affected demographic group, i.e. farmers and taxpayers, so it is only appropriate that all campaign efforts target them. This can be accomplished by the following means.

One way for the proposal get exposure is through a public outreach campaign. In January of 2010, the San Diego City Council voted in favor of a $3.28 million contract to fund a two year public outreach campaign to educate residents on the benefits of using recycled wastewater and that treated wastewater can increase local reservoirs. RMC Water and Environment will manage the project and public relations firm; Katz & Associates will handle public outreach.  Moreover, the public outreach campaign can spread knowledge by using low-cost yet effective means of social media, such as Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.  Getting people to comment and respond to the proposal will help the development and evolution of the treatment center as well as create more buzz.

In addition to the strategies mentioned above, publicity and promotions can be implemented. This includes speaking with any and all organizations (community groups, special interest clubs, or service organizations) that are willing to listen and learn about the project, to tabling at busy shopping centers and fairs where educational and promotional materials may be given away. The San Diego Department of Recycled Water already has recycled water professionals, who are willing to speak to groups to educate them.  Local public forums will be scheduled for any additional questions; additionally, an online forum can be created for further questions, comments, or concerns.

Traditional advertising strategies can be implemented as well to educate and win the approval of the masses.  This can include television, radio, print, online, and out of home media, such as billboards, bus stands, bus stickers, etc.  All marketing efforts need to be integrated and lead consumers to a website that will further educate the community on the goals and benefits of the project.

Benefits and Risks

Risks for agricultural use of treated wastewater include health effects. By far the largest concern is salinity. Treated wastewater has a salinity of 2 dS/m (decisiemens per meter), while the water from the Colorado River has a salinity of about 1 dS/m. This means that the tertiary plant must reduce the salinity to at least the Colorado River levels, which proposes a slight obstacle to overcome. If the salinity of treated wastewater is reduced, then the health effects will be reduced substantially; however, other concerns, such as trace elements and nutrient levels, should still be closely monitored.

While emerging contaminants pose unresolved problems for potable reuse of treated wastewater, the problem disappears in agricultural reuse because the contaminants do not enter the human body directly. The only risks are slightly decreased crop yields.

The main benefits are a reduced reliance on imported water for agriculture as well as the ultimate compliance of the PLWTP with the CWA. Moreover, numerous jobs will be created in the construction and maintenance of the secondary and tertiary treatment plants.  Since the recycled water treated by the facilities proposed in this project will be cheaper than importing water from the MWD and Colorado River within the next decade, there should be less opposition from farmers for its usage.


For this project, a proposal to upgrade the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant to a full secondary treatment facility and the construction of a nearby tertiary treatment center in Del Mar Mesa is submitted to the County of San Diego.  The tertiary treated water will be used for agricultural purposes to conserve the local groundwater for potable and other similar uses.  Since over 90% of San Diego’s water is imported from the Metropolitan Water District and the Colorado River, the city must create an alternate source of water to reduce the imported water supply.  Recycling wastewater is the most logical alternative because other options, such as desalination, are much costlier in the long run and provides a larger impact on the environment.

After conducting preliminary analysis, the proposed project proves feasible with minimal health effects. From the timeline, the project is expected to be fully operational by January 2015. Although the initial costs for the construction is approximately $2.8 billion, a more secure and cheaper source of water will be provided to San Diego for future nonpotable needs. At a rate of $800 per acre-feet, the expected payback period is approximately 44 years.

California is the most populated state in the United States and the fifth most productive agricultural region in the world. Unfortunately, Southern California’s urban and agricultural regions are heavily dependent on imported water. This issue is problematic in the face of drought and decreasing water supplies because water shortages can have major economic and social ramifications. The proposal to transport reclaimed water from the wastewater treatment facilities to San Diego’s agricultural regions can set a precedent in reclaimed water use and supply most of its water demand.




Appendix A: Desalination

Desalination is a broad term that applies to two types of systems: thermal and membrane. Thermal desalination is mainly used where cheap energy is available and water is scarce in places such as the Middle East. A membrane technology called reverse osmosis (RO) is the preferred desalination method in the United States due to its relatively cheap upfront costs and low environmental impact. In fact, 44% of global desalination capacity is derived from reverse osmosis technology.  The primary benefits of desalination are that it will reduce dependence on imported sources and less dams will need to be constructed.  In order to simplify the analysis of desalination, the focus will be primarily on the reversible osmosis process.

Reverse osmosis converts half of the input water into low salinity product water and the other half to a highly saline brine solution.  The input water is usually drawn from brackish waters or seawater. The first step of desalination is pretreatment. The primary goals are to reduce all suspended solids, remove turbidity, discourage microbial growth, and prevent the oxidation of iron and manganese.  However, the amount of salt in the input water is still high after pretreatment. If the input water is not treated effectively, the expensive membranes in the later steps will become clogged, also known as fouling (organic compound buildup) or scaling (precipitated salt buildup). Coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and sand filtration are also optional steps that are applied depending on the feed water quality and space availability. Environmental impact reports (EIRs) have found that the intake of seawater will kill large animals by trapping them nearby the intake screens as well as fish larvae and eggs that are small enough to pass through the screens.

The second step is RO. Some of the pretreated water is pushed through a water permeable membrane with high pressure pumps to become relatively salt free. Approximately half of the water travels through the membrane leaving the majority of the salt behind in the other half. Periodically, the salt water must be discharged because more energy is necessary to treat more saline water. Another significant environmental concern is brine disposal. Brine is approximately twice as salty as regular seawater (~67,000 ppm) and is disposed by direct discharge into the ocean.  This is significant because many species of marine life are not tolerant to salinity changes.

The third step is post-treatment. Desalinated water requires post-treatment because the water is very chemically reactive after RO. To reduce the corrosivity, the treated water is exposed to carbon dioxide and limestone for about fifteen minutes.  The post-treatment must also adjust the pH and add minerals to prepare the water for distribution. New developments, such as more efficient membranes, improved salt disposal, enhanced energy recovery, and increased membrane durability, have significantly lowered the cost of desalination over the past twenty years.

An example of a desalination plant is the one currently being developed in Carlsbad.  According to Poseidon Resources, the lead developer of the Carlsbad desalination project, the plant will convert 100 mgd of ocean water into 50 mgd of potable water.  The remaining 50 mgd of nonpotable water will be directly discharged into San Diego coastal waters due to its high concentration of brine, which will damage the nearby ecology and marine life.  In an agreement with the city, 37 acres of wetlands are being developed by Poseidon to offset the environmental problems caused by their plant, which is not the solution.  Even if wetlands are a perfect substitute for the problems caused by the desalination plant on a local scale, the long run aggregate effect of dotting California’s shores has not yet been analyzed.



Appendix B: Secondary and Tertiary Treatment

Currently, PLWTP only performs advanced primary sewage treatment. This process begins with effluent passing through screens capable of removing larger objects such as paper, plastic, and wood. Next, inorganic matter is removed the use of grit removal tanks, where larger particles sink to the bottom. The wastewater then flows into sedimentation tanks, where the larger organic solids sink to the bottom, while the grease and oil float to the top. Coagulants, such as ferric chloride and organic polymers, are added to make the solid particles clump together and settle out. After the sedimentation tanks, the effluent is dumped into the Pacific Ocean 4.5 miles off the coast through a Y-shaped diffuser.

To get an idea of the necessary upgrade of PLWTP to full secondary, it is instructional to know how a full secondary sewage treatment plant, such as Hyperion, operates. At the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles, sewage comes in as effluent. Before the primary treatment process even begins, specially designed grates screen out large and bulky sized objects. Next, the wastewater flows through sedimentation tanks, where chemical coagulants are added to make solid particles clump together and settle to the bottom. Also, the oil and grease are skimmed off of the top surface of the tanks.

Secondary treatment, which is required by the CWA, takes place in oxygen reactors containing aerobic bacteria capable of consuming organics particles. Afterwards, the water settles in clarifying tanks for several hours. At this stage, secondary treatment is able to remove 95% of the suspended solids originally present in the effluent to become fully compliant with the CWA. The solids removed from primary and secondary treatment are digested by anaerobic bacteria, which produce methane gas that can generate electrical power.

After Hyperion treats the reclaimed water, 12.5 mgd of the post-secondary treated wastewater is sent to West Basin, which is a fully equipped tertiary wastewater treatment plant.  The main objective of the tertiary process is to remove all bacteria, viruses, and suspended solids. West Basin’s tertiary procedure begins by using microfiltration, where thousands of straw-like tubes filter out larger particles, such as dirt, bacteria, and viruses.  Next, a pressure of 200 pounds per square inch (psi) is applied to push the water through semi-permeable membranes with holes 5 million times smaller than the head of a pin. Reverse osmosis removes bacteria as well as organic and inorganic chemical compounds. Lastly, hydrogen peroxide is added for an oxidation reaction followed by ultraviolet ray bombardment leaving the water of ultra pure quality.

In 2004, the PLWTP discharged 10,301 metric tons of suspended solids and 103,518 metric tons of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) into the ocean.  The advanced primary used at PLWTP is only able to remove 85% of the TSS originally present in the effluent, while Hyperion, equipped with full secondary treatment, can do a 95% reduction in TSS. Likewise, the PLWTP can remove 60% of the BOD.  The Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, part 133 lists the requirements for secondary treatment under the CWA. The 30-day average percent removal of both TSS and BOD cannot be less than 85%. Also, the 30-day average cannot exceed 30 mg/L for both TSS and BOD. Since the PLWTP is not a secondary plant, it has to apply for a NPDES permit in 2008 according to the CWA Section 301 (h) Waiver Program. The proposed effluent limits for TSS are 80% reduction, average monthly TSS concentration less than 75 mg/L, and a BOD average percent removal of not less than 58%.  While the PLWTP is complying with the NPDES permit it received, the standards are far more lenient than those put forward by the CWA.



Appendix C: Projected Timeline









Appendix D: List of Public Entities Targeted

The following list shows the public entities that will be contacted for their support of the proposed project:

· City of San Diego Water Department – Serves 1.3 million people; maintains and operates water lines, pump plants, water treatment plants, pressure zones, and water storage facilities. (Branch of Public Utilities)

· City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department – Responsible for the sewer system while ensuring ocean water quality and supplementing the limited water supply. (Branch of Public Utilities)

· San Diego County Water Authority – Wholesaler that provides water to 24 member agencies in San Diego, a member of MWD

· Regional Water Quality Control Board of San Diego – Covers regional water quality and rights regulation, board meetings, laws, funding, watershed management, enforcement, and citizen involvement and is a part of California EPA

· San Diego County Farm Bureau – Nonprofit association of farmers and ranchers and the foremost advocates for the farming community; works with the government agencies, media, educators, the public and elected officials to serve the best interests of the farming community

· San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater JPA – A coalition of municipalities and special districts in San Diego County that shares the city’s regional wastewater system.




[1] “Water Quality.” The City of San Diego. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Climate Change Means Shortfalls in Colorado River Water Deliveries.” Scripps Institution of Oceanography. UC San Diego, 20 Apr. 2009. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] “San Diego County Crop Report.” Agriculture, Weights and Measures. County of San Diego. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] “2007 Census Publications.” The Census of Agriculture. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. 31 May 2010. <>./Volume_1,_Chapter_2_County_Level/California/st06_2_001_001.pdf>.

[1] “Water Management.” San Diego County Water Authority. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] “Indirect Potable Reuse.” Water Reuse. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] Green, Dorothy. Managing Water: Avoiding Crisis in California. Berkeley: University of California, 2007. Print.

[1] Earl, John. “Desal Bailout?” Surf City Voice. 17 Mar. 2009. Web. 01 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Water in the Tucson Area: Seeking Sustainability.” Water Resources Research Center. The University of Arizona. Web. 1 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.” Facilities. The City of San Diego. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Joyce, Ed. “EPA Official Cites Progress in SD on 40th Anniversary of Earth Day.” KPBS. 22 Apr. 2010. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Sonoma County Water Agency, Bureau of Reclamation, and North Bay Water Reuse Authority. Phase 3 Engineering and Economic/Financial Analysis Report: North San Pablo Bay Restoration and Reuse Project: Draft. Rep. 2008. Print.

[1] Dobrowolski, James, Michael O’Neill, Lisa Duriancik, and Joanne Throwe, eds. Opportunities and Challenges in Agricultural Water Reuse: Final Report. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), 2008. Print.

[1] “San Diego County’s Top 10 Crops.” San Diego County Farm Bureau. 2007. Web. 1 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Common Contaminants in Wastewater.” Water Reuse. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] City of San Diego Water Department. Rules and Regulations for Recycled Water Use and Distribution within the City of San Diego. Sept. 2008. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] San Diego County Water Authority. Colorado River Water Transfer Agreements. San Diego County Water Authority, Jan. 2010. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] “Drought Response Level 2 – Drought Alert Condition | Water.” City of San Diego Official Website. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] Gibson, David. “Regional Board Support for the Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) Demonstration Project.” Letter to City Council President Ben Hueso. 26 Jan. 2010. City of San Diego Water Department. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] Lutar, Lani. “Re: Indirect Potable Reuse Demonstration Project.” Letter to City Council President Ben Hueso. 25 Jan. 2010. City of San Diego Water Department. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] Lee, Mike. “Sewage Vote a Blow to San Diego.” Sign On San Diego. The San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Aug. 2009. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Balint, Kathryn. “Wastewater Plant Could Receive New Technology.” Residents for Responsible Desalination. 27 Oct. 2003. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Weikel, Dan. “Sewage Becomes Drinking Water at Calif. Facility.” The Seattle Times. 11 Jan. 2008. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] McCaw, Jerry. “San Diego, San Diego County, California Land for Sale – 25 Acres.” LandWatch. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Paulson, Steven K. “Colorado, Wyoming Groups to Study Water Pipeline.” The Denver Post. 25 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 June 2010. <>.

[1] Hatch, George. “A Dirty Job–But Someone Has to Do It.” Los Angeles Times. Web. 05 June 2010. <>.

[1] “West Basin MWD Secures $1.7 Million from Prop 50.” Water News. Brown and Caldwell, 25 May 2005. Web. 4 June 2010. <>.

[1] Resources Agency. “Summary of Programs in Proposition 50.” California Natural Resources Agency. State of California, Feb. 2005. Web. 4 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Water Reliability.” Mayor Jerry Sanders. The City of San Diego. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] “Public Support.” The Carlsbad Desalination Project. Poseidon Resources, 19 July 2007. Web. 1 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Toilet-to-tap Campaign Approved by Council.” San Diego Newsroom. 28 Jan. 2010. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] “Community Presentations.” City of San Diego Official Website. Web. 24 May 2010. <>.

[1] “California Economy Ranking among Largest World Economies.” EconPost. 9 Nov. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. <>.

[1] Azoury, P. H., 2002, Power and desalination in the Arabian Gulf region: an overview: Proceedings of the I MECH E Part A Journal of Power and Energy, v. 215, pp. 405-19.

[1] Colby, C. B., Lewis, D., O’Neill, B. K., Wittholz, M. K., 2007, Estimating the cost of desalination plants using a cost database: Desalination, v. 229, no. 1-3, pp. 10-20.

[1] “Seawater Desalination Issue Summary.” Surfrider Foundation. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] “Carlsbad Desalination Project, San Diego, California, USA.” Water-Technology. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] Boyle Engineering Corp. “Engineering Feasibility Report.” Dana Point Ocean Desalination Project. Municipal Water District of Orange County, Mar. 2007. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] Krishna, Hari J. “Introduction to Desalination Technologies.” Texas Water. Texas A&M University. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] Burge, Michael. “Carlsbad Desalination Plant Gets Final OK.” Sign On San Diego. The San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2009. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] Voutchkov, Nikolay. “Carlsbad Desalination Plan to Feature Green Solutions.” The Carlsbad Desalination Project. Poseidon Resources, 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 5 June 2010. <>.

[1] . Bradshaw, Greg. “Reclaimed Water: Optimize Groundwater Recharge Reliably.”American Water Works Association (2009): 22-25.

[1] “Water Purification.” West Basin Municipal Water District. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Lyon, Greg S., and Eric D. Stein. Effluent Discharges to the Southern California Bight from Small Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities in 2005. Tech. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Web. <>.

[1] “Modified Permit Issues: ‘The Waiver’.” Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant. Surfrider Foundation. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

[1] Nastri, Wayne. “E. W. Blom Point Loma Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant and Ocean Outfall.” City of San Diego. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2 Dec. 2008. Web. 31 May 2010. <>.

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Brian Thomas Speech about MWD

Brian Thomas from Metropolitan Water District (chief financial officer)


Formed in 1928, primary purpose is to develop, store, treat, and distribute water.

5 major treatment plants, 4 are top 10 treatment plants in country.

2009/2010 revenue of $1.3 billion.

Board of Directors has full rate setting and budget authority. Board members are appointed by their respective agencies, not elected.

Key Delta Risks – fish population could be related to levels of ammonia.

The Delta is very near San Francisco, but it is not recommended for swimming. San Francisco swimming pools are a much better option.

Estimates for the Peripheral Canal $9-10 billion, Tunnel – $11-12 billion

Traditional sources of funding include: federal and state grants, federal and state loans, revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, revenues.

Water bonds

  • General obligation bonds
  • Funded by the state for statewide benefits.

Revenue Bonds – funding the State Water Project

  • Users will pay
  • Revenue bonds are pledge of net operating revenues
  • Can be issued with approval of local governing board
  • Revenue Bonds can be taxable, tax credit bonds, tax-exempt, long term fixed rate bonds, variable rate demand obligations

$700 an acre-foot

Water rates rise when sales fall.

Average residential water bill is $45/month.

Mark’s Lecture

State Revolving Fund (SRF) program – low interest loans available to government agencies for water infrastructure.

Some bond measures that have passed were $50 billion. Even if a bond passed (need 50% of the vote), bonds could still be frozen because state is in poor economic condition, and can’t pay. Water bonds always seem to pass. Water bonds seek to give many groups something. The bond dollars themselves can only be used for capital projects, like building a sewage treatment plant. Bond money cannot be used for program or operation and maintenance of a project.

Proposition O – largest stormwater bond that ever passed on a local level. $500 million to reduce stormwater runoff in LA area. Passed by a large margin.

2/3 vote by public, or 50% vote by property owners are necessary to have a price change for anything other than police, stormwater, water prices. Flood control needs 2/3 vote by public to have a price change.

Unfunded Mandates –

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Public Trust Doctrine as it applies to water rights

5 members on the state water board – 1 is a public member, 2 are engineers, 1 is a lawyer, and 1 represents water rights. Francis is the public member.

Water Rights – a very old approach to allocating water

In CA, we grant water rights to surface water, not groundwater. We don’t permit or regulate groundwater.

Riparian rights – water from stream, and you own the land near the stream. So you take water from stream for use on your land. But there are not very many rivers and streams in CA.

Appropriative rights – taking water from stream lake, river, etc., and taking it somewhere (not land you own that is adjacent to water source). Appropriative rights are main focus of CA state water board. You have to say how, where you are going to use the water, what time you are going to use the water. If a judge rules that you have the right, state water board gives you permit. But if you violate permit (by using over your allotment), it is illegal. Enforcement division goes out and looks for how people take water.

Need a computerized system that is standardized. Currently use paper forms where people report all different kinds of units acre-feet, gallons, which leads to the true amount of water in use in CA being unknown.

Public Trust – resource is so valuable to the public, such that the rights of the DWP should be reduced, to provide for the public values at mono lake. Mono lake committee was founded in 1978. Public trust doctrine was used as a means of protecting mono lake. In 1983, Supreme Court ruled in favor of public trust doctrine. More about mono lake case can be read:

Terms of water right permit – you have to do conservation. Another term says that if state water board tells you to turn off your pumps, you have to do it immediately.

Pre 1914 water right – has fewer rules associated with it. State water board cannot regulate the pre 1914 water right holders. Senior water right holders get 100% of their water rights. The lower you are in the ranking hierarchy, the less you get.

1978 amendments – state has to protect and conserve all natural resources including water.

For in stream flow standards: windward side community groups and small farmers, native Hawaiian groups, Sierra Club

Against: leeward side agriculture, and golf course owners, Department of Agriculture, US Navy, City of Honolulu.

Conclusions: public trust applies to all water resources, unlimited to any surface-ground distinction

Public Trust: public instream uses are superior claims to which existing uses may have to yield.

Public trust:

  • Trustee – state
  • Trust principal – natural resource
  • Beneficiaries – current + future users

First use by environmentalists  – to limit state use

Second use by states– states saying that they are not able to give rights or permits to private sector.

Mono Lake is the first type. Environmentalists saying to state that they cannot give out water rights.  A state based on public trust doctrine must balance different needs. CA supreme court saying to CA superior court, saying they recognize it’s necessary to issue rights, but the fact that state can grant water rights, does not mean that you can… Public trust doctrine is applicable to private water rights as well. Trustee has to engage in continuous monitoring of resources that are considered a public trust.

Over time public trust doctrine has been broadened from navigable water to surface or groundwater.

Waiahole ditch case – whole network of tunnels and support agriculture on leeward side. Hawaii superior court recognized that the trust principal was ALL water (not just navigable or surface water)

eminent domain – state can take your land for public use as long as they compensate you.

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Lecture by David Nahai and Rich Nagel

David Nahai

TLC: transparency, longevity, certainty

Water supply plan

  • Conservation: educational campaign, changing rate structure
  • Changing building standards: mandate water efficient fixtures for future buildings
  • Recycling: recycling wastewater

Rich Nagel

As Arizona, Nevada Colorado grew, rights to bring in water from Colorado River diminished. CA’s water went down by ½ from 5 years ago. Also, delta smelt problem diminished southern CA’s water supplies.

Hyperion has 5 levels of water purification:

  1. Irrigating plants
  2. Cooling towers
  3. Water pure for high pressure refineries
  4. Water injected underground to replenish groundwater
  5. 2 passes of reverse osmosis, which is purer than distilled water.

Contagion: mental block in mindset. Example: salad in front of you, fly sits on it and flies away. Theory of contagion is that the whole salad is bad. You need to break the theory of contagion chain.

Up to 5% of water from Colorado system is from sanitation water discharged into Colorado river system. The social science paradigm must be altered.

Public wants to recycle water as well as conserve water. You want to give elected officials the cover to give you support. 80,000 elements in drinking water from sewage, but only 100 constituents in drinking water. Microfiltration is the first treatment technology. 2nd stage is the reverse osmosis, to take out compounds dissolved in water.

To find harmful elements, they must have:

Low molecular weight (above 100 daltons), water soluable, non polar (no ionic charge). Only 80 elements satisfy all 3 of these criteria.

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