Playa Vista Stays Lush With Recycled Water

With 13 parks, lots of parkways and acres of greenery you might think Playa Vista has a huge water problem during this drought. The fact is, because of decisions made years ago they may be the model for how to best deal with landscaping these days. When first envisioned in the late 90's, the goal for this planned community was to use recycled or reclaimed water for its landscaping and other non-potable needs. Given the drought, they're glad they did that. Recycled water is exempt under the Governor's mandate for conservation.

Marc Huffman with Brookfield Residential says, "We were ahead of the game. We were ahead of the game." Brookfield Residential is the master developer behind the 460-acre planned community known as Playa Vista. Since 2009, he says using recycled water "... has saved us millions of gallons a year of potable water since we're running the reclaim instead. It enables us to keep the parks lush, the streetscapes lush."

And, people we spoke with around here think Brookfield has done a good job. That's the assessment of resident Meredith Harper Houston. George Fansmith totally agrees saying "Playa Vista is green and we're in the middle of a drought and we have plants everywhere."

So, how have they done it? Wastewater from toilets, showers, washing machines and businesses goes to the Hyperion Waste Treatment Plant. That's where it's filtered. Then, it's brought to the West Basin Municipal Water District where its goes through testing and more filtering before it goes out to Playa Vista."

At West Basin Joe Walters, who manages the Recycled Water Program says, "Playa Vista uses about 100-million-gallons a year." He says that's enough to provide water for 600 families of four for a year. He also says West Basin have some 300 customers that use recycled water and because it's less expensive it's a win-win for everybody.

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