The drought may be over, but in an effort to promote conservation, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has named two Valley operations as examples for others to follow.
"We don't want to let down our guard," department spokeswoman Debra Sass said. The Board of Water and Power Commissioners singled out three major water savers, including the Anheuser-Busch Inc. operation in Van Nuys, and the Calmat plant in Sun Valley.
"We want to keep water conservation in the consciousness of the city even though this year the drought is over," Sass said. Also recognized by the board during its regular meeting Tuesday was the Broadway Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.
"You don't know when it's going to happen again," said Gary Lee, plant manager for Anheuser-Busch in Van Nuys, where the company spent about $500,000 in 1991-92 to install a system to reclaim water used in the brewing process.
The change cut Anheuser-Busch water usage by 10%, about 500,000 fewer gallons of water per day. Anheuser-Busch, which opened its plant in Van Nuys in 1954, is the city's largest water customer, using 140 million gallons of water a month.
Two years ago, Calmat, a sand and gravel company, spent $250,000 to recycle water, said Jim Dean, company district manager.
"We get water from deep wells as well as from the city," Dean said. The recycling cut water use by about 30%, with 255 million gallons saved in 19 months.
"We feel there was a significant pay-back on the project," said Dean.