Alan Rindlisbacher
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Foundation Magazine


Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility Deal Receives 2009 Global Water Award of Distinction

May 19, 2009

A deal put together by the Pacific Environmental Resources Corp. (PERC) and Alinda Capital Partners LLC (Alinda) to build the new Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility, currently under construction by Layton Construction, has been honored with the Global Water Awards' 2009 "Water Deal of the Year" Award of Distinction. The award was presented by Al Gore, former vice president of the United States and Nobel laureate, at an awards banquet at the Zurich Marriott Hotel in late April in Zurich, Switzerland. Layton Construction was hired as the primary subcontractor for the project and PERC is the design-build construction manager.

The facility was recognized with the "Water Deal of the Year" Award of Distinction because of the city of Santa Paula's decision to bring in private sector funding to support its new water recycling plant, showing sensitivity to the fragile state of the current economy as well as an innovative new direction in financing for the United States water infrastructure.

Santa Paula Water, LLC--a company that is a joint venture of PERC and an infrastructure investment fund managed by Alinda--designed, is currently building and will completely finance and operate the new state-of-the-art water recycling facility and ensure that it meets the city of Santa Paula's current and projected future wastewater treatment needs for at least the next 30 years--the company has a 30-year commitment to process wastewater for Santa Paula. The facility will replace the city's wastewater treatment plant, originally built in 1939. PERC has been contracted for the design of the facility as well as construction and operations. Alinda is financing the construction of the new facility.

The innovative design of the recycling plant blends in well with the surrounding community and utilizes a footprint of less than two acres, space which includes a 12,162-square-foot treatment facility and conceals a nearly 5.2 million gallon underground tank. Because of this innovative design, five plus acres of the original planned site acreage was not used and has been set aside for future use by the city of Santa Paula. In addition, an 11,000-square-foot water feature will enhance the appearance of the building.

The recycling plant itself is designed for 3.4 million gallons per day (MGD) with expandability to 4.2 MGD. The plant will have all new utilities, including fire, water, power, cable and gas, as well as features including an influent sewer lift station, three digester tanks, three anoxic tanks, three aerobic tanks, a UV disinfection tank and system, a foam control system, two-flow equalization tanks and a membrane bioreactor. The plant will also include administration buildings, including a control building with office space, lockers and restrooms, conference rooms, a receiving area and a headworks building, which will contain above-ground equipment as well as an odor control system. The effluent will be released from the plant and recycled into adjacent percolation ponds.

Ground was broken on the facility in July 2008 and to date, more than 7,000 yards of concrete for the foundation has been placed, or the equivalent of the amount of concrete needed for the construction of 158 single family homes. The Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility will begin operating no later than Dec. 15, 2010. It is the first facility of its type to be built under California's new regulations that encourage private investment to meet public infrastructure needs.

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