Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions

Mobile MBR gets facility back up and running after devastating wildfire


The Woolsey wildfire caused mass destruction as it ripped through the Malibu hills of Southern California in late 2018. The blaze burned nearly 97,000 acres, destroyed more than 1,600 structures, killed three people, and injured a handful of others. One of the structures destroyed in the fire was a wastewater treatment plant servicing a rehabilitation center in the City of Malibu. With the treatment plant nonfunctioning, the center was unable to operate after the fire subsided. To speed up reopening, a request for proposals (RFP) was released for the installation of a temporary wastewater treatment plant to operate while a permanent replacement was designed, built, and commissioned.


Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions was chosen to deliver of a 26,000 gallon per day (gpd) mobile membrane bioreactor (MBR) system . Veolia’s mobile MBR fleet (see Figure 1). provides customers with fully integrated wastewater treatment systems that incorporate biological processes and ZeeWeed* 500 ultrafiltration (UF) membranes in compact, ready-to-operate units designed to treat wastewater for a variety of applications.

ZeeWeed membranes are reinforced, hollow-fiber, and immersed directly into the wastewater (see Figure 2). The membranes draw permeate into the fiber using a gentle suction and act as a physical barrier, preventing suspended solids from being released into the effluent. Membranes are extremely cost effective since they require less energy and fewer chemicals than conventional wastewater systems. Veolia was the only company to offer the customer a readily available solution with the aforementioned functionality.


The mobile MBR was integrated with minimal disruption to the site’s existing infrastructure. The solution was delivered on time and ready to process wastewater within 60 days. Table 1 details the required discharge limits:

Mobile MBR Table 1

Following minimal sampling, the mobile MBR was approved to begin discharging MBR permeate; all parameters were and continue to be within the required specifications. With Veolia-WTS’s system in place, the facility’s residents were allowed back onsite.