Water Board issues wastewater discharge permit to One World Beef

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California Regional Water Quality Control Board met in Brawley Thursday.

BRAWLEY — The Colorado River Basin Region of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a wastewater discharge permit to One World Beef (OWB) at their regular meeting held at the Brawley city council chamber Thursday.

The vote was unanimous in favor of the issuance of the permit.

OWB said they will replace the existing onsite wastewater treatment facility with a bio-filtration system which uses earthworms and a microbial process to provide wastewater treatment. OWB explained they will discharge up to 238,000 gallons per day of treated industrial wastewater to irrigate approximately 140 acres of farmland planted with Bermuda grass. Their plan is to disinfect the treated wastewater with paracetic acid prior to discharge to land.

Eric Brandt, President of One World Beef, commented on the vote of the board.

“We are extremely pleased with and grateful for the actions of the Water Board,” said Brandt. “Their staff, and in particular, Executive Director Jose Angel, along with members of our team, helped us achieve a robust waste water treatment and reclamation program which not only carries out our mission for the protection of the environment and the citizens of Brawley, it also allows for the secondary beneficial re-use of tens of millions of gallons of precious water per year.”

“An important One World Beef milestone was achieved today when the Regional Board approved the Waste Discharge Requirements,” said mayor Sam Couchman. “The city congratulates Mr. Brandt on this accomplishment and looks forward to OWB’s long term success.”

In other business, the water board voted unanimously for a rescission of the Cease and Desist Order that was issued in 2008 on the city of Brawley.

The city was to implement corrective actions in accordance with specified tasks and time schedules.

The city completed construction on the wastewater treatment plant in 2012 and submitted a pretreatment program to the water board in 2013. The water board approved the program in 2014.

Since the completion of the wastewater plant upgrades in 2012, the city has been in complete compliance according to Jose Angel, executive officer of the Regional Water Quality Board.

“The Regional Board’s action recognizes the city’s $24M upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the establishment of the Industrial Pretreatment Program,” said Couchman. “Rescission is acknowledgement that the city has done its part in the Regional Board’s eyes to fulfill its regulatory obligations.”