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Staff member working in the laboratoryRegional Wastewater Facility Laboratory
A top priority for South Bay Water Recycling is to ensure that the water delivered to parks, golf courses, and industrial users is of high-quality and safe for reuse. The laboratory at the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility provides an important function to meet this goal. This ultramodern lab was designed with the future of South Bay Water Recycling in mind.

Three significant functions of the laboratory include:
  • Monitoring water at the source of discharge (such as wastewater from an industrial facility)
  • Analyzing wastewater for treatment processes and high-quality effluent (discharge from the Plant)
  • Carefully analyzing recycled water.

“We have the capacity, equipment, and experience to handle the South Bay Water Recycling program” stated Jo Andrade-Bunnell, a chemist at the lab. “We continually and aggressively monitor reclaimed water to ensure a safe product.” Recycled water is tested and analyzed frequently. The recycled water from the treatment plant frequently surpasses requirements for recycled water quality.

Optimizing the Treatment Process
The lab works closely with the treatment plant in an effort to optimize treatment plant processes. Samples of effluent discharge are collected and analyzed daily. These samples are run through a series of tests in the four process labs and strict quality control is maintained. The results are then evaluated by chemists, who review the data. If numbers appear high, calculations and procedures are checked and the sample is tested again to confirm results. This information is communicated directly to the plant operators, so they can regulate the process to ensure quality water. “We work hand-in-hand with the plant operators” added Andrade-Bunnell. “If they need a quick screening on a sample, we can do it.”

Lab Staff
The laboratory’s 26 employees are dedicated to providing quick and accurate information to meet the needs of the Facility and its customers. They take a proactive approach to South Bay Water Recycling through advanced planning and testing. According to Andrade-Bunnell, “High quality water is our top priority and we have initiated special testing and monitoring procedures. The public is our ultimate customer.”