For more information, contact:
Carrie W. Capuco
WERF Director of Communications

Lauren M. Skinner
Principal Public Relations Representative
City of L.A. | DPW | PAO

WERF Honors City of Los Angeles Biosolids Resource Management Program with Award for Excellence in Innovation

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) recognized the City of Los Angeles with its Award for Excellence in Innovation on Tuesday afternoon for the Bureau of Sanitation’s Terminal Island Renewable Energy (TIRE) project. TIRE has offered numerous environmental solutions and a successful diversified biosolids management program while potentially saving millions of dollars annually since the facility began operating in 2008.

This new WERF award recognizes organizations that have made improvements to wastewater and stormwater collection, storage or treatment operations, facilities, or processes by applying WERF research. The City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works is one of two organizations to receive the award in its inaugural year. 

The TIRE project is the nation’s first full-scale demonstration project of an innovative technology to convert biosolids into clean energy by deep-well placement and geothermal biodegradation. “The Bureau of Sanitation is honored to have been selected by the Water Environment Research Foundation for this award. The Terminal Island Renewable Energy project improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gases by using wastewater treatment byproducts as a renewable resource in an innovative and environmentally safe manner,” said Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar.

Placing biosolids in deep subsurface formations using state-of-the art technology further protects groundwater as opposed to land application. TIRE also reduces truck traffic and associated exhaust emissions, pollutants, odors, and dust by 520,000 miles per year. There is a reduction in land application of biosolids in an exposed environment of 54,750 tons per year. Also, there is elimination from the atmosphere of 84 tons of NOX and 13 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) per year. Currently, WERF is working with the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and others to identify other parts of the country where this work can be replicated.

A team of WERF volunteers, who themselves are some of the most recognized individuals in the water quality industry, selected the award recipients from a field of many well-qualified organizations.  “We encourage those applicants who did not receive this year’s award to re-apply next year, emphasizing the progress they have made in their implementation efforts,” states Selection Committee Chair and WERF Board Member Joseph Zuback of Global Water Advisors, Inc.

Additional information on this award can be found at or


The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues.