View Full Version : Why not reclaim storm water?

02-26-2010, 02:39 PM
This is in regards to taking some of the pressure off of the delta.

What if we mandated than all cities with more than 1 million residents have to implement a plan to reclaim their storm water and increase the % over say 30-40 years until they hit 90%.

I'll use L.A. as an example:
This line made my jaw drop--
"Approximately 100 million gallons of water flow through Los Angeles' storm drain system on an average dry day. When it rains, the amount of water flowing through the channels can increase to 10 billion gallons reaching speeds of 35 mph and depths of 25 feet."

For reference, 1 acre foot is 326,000 gallons which is enough for 2 families for a year. If I did my math correctly, 10 billion gallons a day could fill up a lake the size of Folsom in one month.

Here's an aquifer system that can store 300,000 acre/ft.:

Here's a science blog article on the topic:

Whatever happens, we're going to have to pay for it and our storm water systems are already in place. Rather than cleaning the storm water before sending it to the ocean, it could be pumped into existing reservoirs and aquifers. Building more dams and sending more water through the delta shouldn't be allowed to happen.

02-27-2010, 12:57 AM
Always wondered WHY this wasn't done,what a waste.Don

02-27-2010, 02:16 AM
Good idea, we should also look into reusing gray water.

02-27-2010, 05:22 AM
So exactly what dry riverbed are you going to fish in?

Most major citys have or have plans to install Reclaimed Water systems. Thats the using of treated Waste water.

It would be very expensive to install and operate a seperate gray water system in a city.

03-01-2010, 11:13 AM
storm water collection can also be used to create electricity

03-01-2010, 02:15 PM
Create electricity.* How is that?* Please explain.* What is your engineering background?

Unfortunately, to have suitable water for reservoirs, you would have to treat stormwater in a sewage treatment plant and then follow up with a reverse osmosis system. Very expensive!* This is what they are doing in Marin and SoCal.* State requirements for recycling wasterwater or stormwater are very stringent, as they should be.* It would be great if we could reclaim stormwater, but the cost is much too high.*

03-01-2010, 10:13 PM
Marin is not to hot on Sewage Treatment.... unless having 2 raw sewage spills into the bay is a good thing...

03-02-2010, 01:10 AM
there are a few cities that do that. all those big purple pipes are reclaimed water. its definately a good idea, and as much of it should be used as possible. not neccesarily for drinking, but for irrigation and other uses.

yeah, the process can be expensive, but it cant cost as much as that "peripheral canal" that will cost somewhere in the billions

03-02-2010, 02:03 AM
The purple Irrigation System is not Storm Water. It's Reclaimed Sewage Waste Water.
I have 2 Buildings in Dublin that have this system. That i have actually been repairing the last 3 weeks ::) I had to go to a class for Dublin/San Ramon Water District.

03-02-2010, 02:28 AM
Storm water is water that runs down our streets and then into street drains which then goes to the bay or ocean. It comes in contact with oils, wastes, etc on the pavement and street gutters. This is why you shouldn't swim in the ocean or bay after a big rain storm because of all the bacteria that washed into the water.

This water can be cleaned up but is considered "gray" water. Gray water can not be used for drinking water that comes out of our sinks. Our homes all have "one piping line" that carries clean water that we drink. If we want to use "gray" water for watering lawns, a separate pipe line will have to be installed to each house and a separate "gray" water main will have to be installed in the street. Treated sewage water is called "gray" water and is dumped back into the bay or ocean. In some areas, they use gray water to water public lawns.

I used to work for the city of martinez waste water treatment plant, as an engineer, which treats all sewer water.


03-02-2010, 11:36 AM
What I envision is a system that monitors the storm water and maybe you'd need to allow the first 10% to pass through into the sea. Maybe adding filters at the drains would speed up the process. Once the raw water hits an acceptable level, it would get pumped into a reservoir where sunlight would perform most of the disinfecting process.

Creating a new "gray water only" system sounds expensive and we should be looking for the least expensive option that provides the biggest bang for our buck. There is enough storm water passing through most of our cities to supply a considerable portion of their needs and much of it is already being pumped into another body of water.
Rather than being dictated to by paid off representatives, fishermen should be offering sensible options that help our sport. I've thrown this idea at my assemblyman but haven't heard anything back yet.

03-02-2010, 01:33 PM
How is it a 100 million gallons of water goes in the storm drain when there is no storm....no rain where is that 100 million coming from?......its not reclaim water and its not potable water so what is it? 100 million gallons to me seems to be an ambiguous number.

03-02-2010, 01:40 PM
I'm assuming it's excess irrigation water from millions of homes, schools, etc.

03-02-2010, 11:44 PM
I'm assuming it's excess irrigation water from millions of homes, schools, etc.

The 'etc' is the millions of AC units on those roofs, plus all the Comercial buildings, Hotels, Stadiums, etc.
Almost all AC's have their condensate drains piped to the roof drain.

03-03-2010, 01:02 AM
I totally agree. When I lived down in Port Huenemne I remember every time it even looked like rain the water was rushing to the sea. There are many ways to accommodate the need for water without stripping our delta of its needs. Northern needs for water that comes form the north should have total priority. This includes water to maintain proper flows in the Delta and to care for our agricuture.

03-03-2010, 01:03 AM
with that said it cost so much to treat water from roof tops/air conditionings, the water has to go through a sequential batch reactor or in some cases to allow title 22 above ground usage the water would need to be treated in a MBR membrane biological reactor. my numbers may be off slightly....Laguna Seca treats up to 26 to 30, million gallons a day and that water is used for irrigation on parks, cemeteries, golf courses etc but majority of the water is put in the ocean.....it could be done with a large reservoir but it would cost California Tiger Woods money.

03-03-2010, 04:22 AM
It's way too late now of course, but it would have been nice if people had the sense not to overpopulate areas like LA and PHX to the point they don't have enough local water sources to support the population.

03-03-2010, 08:16 AM
Having more resevoirs would help.

03-03-2010, 11:27 AM
Having more resevoirs would help.

Yeah.. I say we fill up Nevada.

03-03-2010, 11:28 AM
;D ;DI really like that FB