Inland Empire Brine Line (SARI)

The Inland Empire Brine Line, previously referred to as The Santa Ana Regional Interceptor (SARI), is a pipeline that was constructed to protect the Santa Ana River Watershed from desalter concentrate and various saline wastes. Organizations whose processes create high-saline waste that does not qualify for use, reclamation or return to the region through the municipal sewer system domestic-treatment plants, but does qualify for ocean discharge, can use the brine line to transport the waste. The brine pipeline carries the waste directly to specially equipped treatment plants operated by the Orange County Sanitation District. After treatment, the waste is discharged to the Pacific Ocean.

To qualify for the Inland Empire Brine Line discharge, waste with high total dissolved solids (TDS) must meet established local limits for:
  • Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Total suspended solids (TSS)
  • Total toxic organics
High-Saline Waste Discharge
There are two ways to discharge high-saline waste to the brine line system:

The following is a listing of the constituent limits (measured in mg/L) for discharge to the Inland Empire Brine Line.
  • Arsenic - 2.0
  • Cadmium - 1.0
  • Chromium (In Total) - 2.0
  • Copper - 3.0
  • Cyanide (Amenable) - 1.0
  • Cyanide (In Total) - 5.0
  • Lead - 2.0
  • Mercury - 0.03
  • Nickel - 10.0
  • Oil and grease of mineral, petroleum origin TPH - 100.0
  • Pesticides - 0.01
  • pH 6 to 12 units
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls - 0.01
  • Silver - 5.0
  • Sulfide (Dissolved) - 0.5
  • Sulfide (In Total) - 5.0
  • Total Toxic Organics (TTO) - 0.58
  • Zinc - 10.0

Prohibition on Infectious Waste
It’s required that any discharge of infectious waste be rendered noninfectious prior to discharge if the infectious waste is deemed to pose a threat to the public health and safety or will result in any violation of applicable waste discharge requirements.

One solution that has been ongoing for the past 20 years is transition from use of high-salinity import water to lower-salinity water. In 1956, Western, as a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District, began importing Colorado River water to western Riverside County to supplement diminishing local supplies. While the water provided needed relief to groundwater overdraft in the basin, it also brought a high level of minerals and salts.