The Inland Empire Brine Line (Brine Line) is intended to provide a cost-effective, sustainable means of disposal of non-reclaimable wastes for utilities and industry within the Santa Ana River Watershed.

The highest and best use of the Brine Line is the removal of salts from the Watershed to keep them from degrading water quality within the Watershed, thereby allowing better use of groundwater resources and expanding the ability to reclaim water.

The long-term goal of achieving salt balance within the region depends on the ability to remove salts from the watershed via the Inland Empire Brine Line. Further use of desalters depends on an economical means of salt disposal and ultimately will depend on an economically viable regional Inland Empire Brine Line.

Two Ways to Connect

Trucked Disposal

Direct Disposal

  • Customers who typically generate a small amount of salty wastewater or who cannot connect directly to the Brine Line due to location.
  • Disposal of salty wastewater occurs at one of the four Brine Line Collection Stations using a permitted trucker. A complete list of permitted truckers is available from SAWPA.
  • Everyone within the SAWPA service area is within 20 miles of a Collection Station (refer to map.)

Customers who produce a higher volume of salty wastewater and are located close enough to construct a direct Brine Line connection.

Disposal Limits

Your waste must meet established limits for certain elements.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of salty wastewater disposal is based on four components:

  • Volume Discharged
  • Concentration of Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • Concentration of Total Suspended Solids
  • Type of connection

Brine Line customers have a significant cost advantage compared to those in the rest of the Los Angeles Basin:

  • Salty wastewater disposal into the Brine Line is approximately $0.05 per gallon (low concentration of Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Total Suspended Solids).
  • Salty wastewater disposal elsewhere in the LA basin can be as high as $0.25 per gallon.
  • Brine Line customers could realize up to 500% reduction in disposal costs.
Brine Line Billing Formula
Brine Line Rate Calculator

Inland Empire Brine Line Rate Calculator. This represents the Brine Line capital and O & M costs. Its set up for a hypothetical 50,000 gpd discharge (20 mg/l BOD, 18 mg/l TSS)

** Note these charges are based on the SAWPA “wholesale” rates to the member agencies. “Retail” rates charged by the SAWPA member agencies are slightly more.

Brine Line Rate Resolution No. 2014-03 –Establish Inland Empire Brine Line Rates (Effective 7/1/2014; rescinds Reso 2013-05

** Again, these charges are based on the SAWPA “wholesale” rates to the member agencies. “Retail” rates charged by the SAWPA member agencies are slightly more.

Brine Line Resolution No. 487 and Resolution No. 295 – pipeline and treatment and disposal capital costs.

** Note this represents the costs to purchase capacity rights in the system (it’s not a connection fee). Capacity rights are obtained by contracting with the applicable member agency.

Is the Brine Line Right for my Company?

Any industries that generate wastewater high in total dissolved solids, or use any of the following:

  • Large Water Softeners
  • Large Cooling Towers
  • Large Boilers
  • Ultra-pure water

Industries that typically benefit from disposal of salty wastewater to the Inland Empire Brine Line include:

  • Biotech Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Electronic Parts Manufacturers
  • Power Plants
  • Co-Generation Plants
  • Medical Supply Manufacturing
  • Water Purification Plants
  • Bottled Water Facilities
  • Ion Exchange Facilities
  • Computer Chip Manufacturers
  • Commercial Laundries
  • Food and Beverage Processing

What are the Disposal Limits?

Constituent Limit (mg/L-except pH)
pH 60.-12.0
Arsenic 2.0
Cadmium 1.0
Chromium Total 20.0
Copper 3.0
Lead 2.0
Mercury 0.03
Nickel 10.0
Silver 15.0
Fat, Oils, & Grease 500
Zinc 10.0
Cyanide Total 5.0
Cyanide Amenable 1.0
Polychlorinated Biphenyls 0.01
Pesticides 0.01
Total Toxic Organics 0.58
Sulfide Total 5.0
Sulfide Dissolved 0.5
Oil & Grease Petroleum 100.0


Process to Become an Indirect Discharger – Fastest Way to Connect
  1. Complete and submit a Discharger Permit Application.
  2. Your permit application will be reviewed and a representative will visit your business to complete the permitting process.
  3. Once approved, a permit for salty wastewater disposal will be issued.  The permit will include monitoring requirements and contingency plan in the event that the Brine Line Collection Station is temporarily unavailable.
  4. Contract with a permitted trucker or obtain a Liquid Waste Hauler Permit for disposal of the brine wastewater at one of the four Brine Line Collection Stations.

Process to Become a Direct Discharger of Salty Wastewater
  1. Contact SAWPA for discharge requirements and costs.
  2. Purchase capacity to dispose and treat the waste.
  3. Complete and submit a Discharger Permit Application.
  4. Submit construction plans for approval to SAWPA and the appropriate City/Agency.
  5. Once the contracts are in place, the permit is approved/issued and the lateral line constructed, the tie-in can be made and operation can begin.
  6. The permit will include disposal limits on metals and other specific contaminants, monitoring and reporting requirements, and a variety of other administrative requirements.

Praise from Our Customers

  • Part of our mission statement as a company is to conserve the world’s energy and resources. I think conserving water and being able to use the Brine Line is part of that mission statement. The Brine Line has been the most reliable, low cost option for us to remove water from the site.
    Rick Glasmann | General Manager
    International Rectifier
  • We wouldn’t be able to operate without the Brine Line.
    Ben Strassohofer | District Operations Manager
    Mission Linen Supply
  • There are no other feasible alternatives to the Brine Line.
    Inland Empire Energy Center