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Pure Water Oceanside-Recycling-Local Supply

Pure Water Oceanside Provides New Local Supply of Drinking Water

Pure Water Oceanside is the first operating advanced water purification facility in San Diego County, providing a new local supply. The facility was officially dedicated with a celebration Tuesday in Oceanside. Elected officials and water leaders throughout Southern California commemorated the milestone which coincided with World Water Day.

Pure Water Oceanside purifies recycled water to create a new local source of high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound.

“On this World Water Day, we celebrate the City of Oceanside’s contribution to managing our invaluable water resources with the opening of Pure Water Oceanside,” said Cari Dale, City of Oceanside water utilities director. “Today we made history by moving one step closer to achieving the goal of greater water independence for not only our city, residents and businesses, but also the region as a whole.”

20% of Oceanside’s drinking water supply

The $70 million project uses advanced technology, including ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to provide 3 million gallons per day or more than 20% of the City of Oceanside’s drinking water supply. The source of the recycled water to create the purified water is from the city’s own San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

Drought-proof water supply

“Pure Water Oceanside exemplifies our commitment to innovative projects that improve the lives of the citizens who call our great city home,” said City of Oceanside Mayor Esther Sanchez. “Not only will the project safeguard against ongoing drought concerns, but it will also improve the quality and quantity of our local aquifer and reduce our reliance on imported water, ensuring clean and reliable water is available for future generations.”

Pure Water Oceanside-Recycling-Potable Reuse-Water Supply

The $70 million project uses advanced technology, including ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to provide 3 million gallons per day or more than 20% of the City of Oceanside’s drinking water supply. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Pure Water Oceanside addresses a variety of challenges faced by the city. Before the project went online, Oceanside imported most of its water from the Sacramento Bay Delta and the Colorado River, hundreds of miles away. This imported water is subject to rising costs out of the city’s control, requires an enormous amount of energy to transport and is vulnerable to natural disasters and earthquakes. Pure Water Oceanside addresses these challenges by diversifying the city’s water supply and reducing its reliance on imported water.

The launching of Pure Water Oceanside coincides with a larger movement for the region as a whole to create sustainable water supplies in San Diego County. In addition to Pure Water Oceanside, two other water reuse projects are planned for the region: the East County Advanced Water Purification Program and Pure Water San Diego.

(Editor’s note: The City of Oceanside, City of San Diego, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, and the Helix Water District are four of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Oceanside Water Utilities Staff Honored at the California Water Environment Association Awards Banquet

On January 29, 2022, City of Oceanside Water Utilities employees were honored at the annual California Water Environment Association (CWEA) San Diego awards banquet. Four City employees from the San Luis Rey Wastewater Treatment Plant were appointed to the CWEA Board, while another received a prestigious award for his outstanding service and exemplary work in the maintenance field. Mike Mensing, Mechanical Technologist I, was awarded the title of Mechanical Tech of the Year for the San Diego CWEA Section.

WaterSmart Landscape Contest-The Nieves family of Bonita won the Sweetwater Authority's 2019 Landscape Makeover Contest for theier creative WaterSmart landscaping design. Photo: Sweetwater Authority 2021 Landscape Makeover

2022 WaterSmart Landscape Contest Open For Entries

One dozen San Diego County water agencies are looking for the best in landscaping makeover projects for the 2022 regional WaterSmart landscape competition. This annual competition showcases residential water-saving landscaping projects to inform and inspire other homeowners to consider replacing their turf-based yard designs.

The contest deadline for all participating agencies is Friday, May 13. Homeowners may submit their entry online through their water agency. Entrants must live within a water agency boundary to participate. Each agency winner receives a $250 gift certificate and recognition on the agency website and social media channels.

Participating agencies in 2022 include California American Water, the cities of Escondido and Oceanside, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rincon Del Diablo Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water District, and the Vista Irrigation District.

Turf removal saves an estimated 36 million gallons annually

El Cajon homeowner-Otay Water District-2021 Landscape Makeover Contest

El Cajon homeowner Christine Laframboise’s water saving landscape design trading turf for a less thirsty approach is the Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest winner. Pboto: Otay Water District

Most residential water use in San Diego County is used outdoors, primarily to water landscaping. When yards contain a large amount of turf, it can significantly increase overall water consumption. This is why conservation education efforts focus on replacing turf.

By showcasing how beautiful landscapes without grass can be through the WaterSmart Landscape Contest, homeowners can share their creativity and demonstrate how attractive WaterSmart landscaping can be.

“San Diego County homeowners are moving toward beautiful, sustainable landscapes and away from water-intensive lawns as the default choice,” said Joni German, San Diego County Water Authority water resources specialist. “Through ongoing education and through the examples people see around them, homeowners can see that water-efficient landscapes can be beautiful, lush, colorful, and thrive in our region. This contest is a great way to showcase the efforts homeowners regionwide have made to create these incredible outdoor spaces.”

Additional benefits of watersmart landscaping

Colorful, waterwise plants replaced a thirsty, labor intensive front lawn in Deborah Brant's winning landscape makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Colorful, water-wise plants replaced a thirsty, labor-intensive front lawn in Deborah Brant’s winning landscape makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

  • Creating a garden to live in as well as look at by adding outdoor rooms for your favorite activities.
  • Drought-tolerant plants can be used to define spaces instead of buildings and walls.
  • Cultivating native plants for San Diego County’s Mediterranean climate zones, including ground covers, grasses, succulents, perennials, shrubs, vines, and trees.

Free landscape makeover classes offered by Water Authority

The Brants took advantage of the San Diego County Water Authority's Landscape Makeover classes to help them plan their project. Photo: City of Escondido

The Brants took advantage of the San Diego County Water Authority Landscape Makeover classes to help them plan their project. Photo: City of Escondido

The Water Authority offers free options to help homeowners plan their makeovers. Homeowners can get started with the Water Authority’s free three-hour introductory landscaping workshops scheduled on weeknights and Saturdays. The workshops are held virtually.

The Water Authority’s free WaterSmart Landscape Makeover four-class workshop series offers more specific planning for homeowners.  See the course page for the most current schedule and to sign up.

(Editor’s Note: The City of Escondido, the City of Oceanside, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rincon Del Diablo Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water District, and Vista Irrigation District are 11 of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

North County firefighters-confined space-Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Training Preps North County Firefighters for Confined Space Rescues

North San Diego County fire agencies teamed up with Olivenhain Municipal Water District in early December for confined space training drills. The drills prepare firefighting professionals to respond to emergencies in facilities such as water or wastewater treatment plants and are required to maintain their confined space certification.

Participants from North County fire agencies benefitted from the opportunity for team building during their recent training exercise hosted by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District confined space rescues

Participants from North County fire agencies benefitted from the opportunity for team building during their recent training exercise hosted by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

This year, training took place in one of OMWD’s water transmission vaults. Firefighters were able to use the vaults to practice confined space entries and other rescue scenarios. Fire personnel worked with OMWD staff in a team effort, and both groups benefitted from the opportunity to understand each other’s equipment and protocols.

Participating fire agencies include the Cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach, North County, Vista, and the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District.

Preparing for emergencies

As a result of training with OMWD, North County fire agencies can now respond more efficiently and confidently to similar facilities thanks to establishing working relationships in advance of emergencies. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

As a result of training with OMWD, North County fire agencies can now respond more efficiently and confidently to similar facilities thanks to establishing working relationships in advance of emergencies. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Confined space permits are required by OSHA before making any kind of confined space entry or rescue. OMWD and other member water agencies use such permits. Bob Topolovac, OMWD board director, said, “The confined space training with the fire agencies helps everyone prepare for emergencies that could happen in similar facilities.”

OMWD staff reviewed the conditions and possible actions within the vault space with fire crews. Participants discussed decision-making for confined space entry and conditions they might encounter, such as chemical exposure and electrical lock-out/tag-out requirements.

As a result of training, fire agencies can now respond more efficiently and confidently to similar facilities thanks to establishing working relationships in advance of emergencies. “We appreciate the collaboration with local fire agencies to ensure we’re all prepared for potential future emergencies. We look forward to supporting future training exercises,” added Topolovac.

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Pure Water Oceanside to Start Purifying Recycled Water by End of ’21

By the end of December, the city will begin turning recycled water into drinkable water through its new, state-of-the-art water purification facility, the first of its kind in San Diego County.

The new water purification system, dubbed Pure Water Oceanside, uses ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and an advanced oxidation process to purify recycled wastewater.

“It’s inspired by the natural water cycle and is the natural next step for recycling our precious water resource that we currently discharge into the ocean without tapping into its full potential,” said Oceanside Water Utilities Director Cari Dale, who has led the project.

Officials Sign California-Denmark Water Collaboration Agreement

On Nov. 30 the city of Oceanside, Calif. and Denmark officials celebrated the signing of the California-Denmark agreement for water sector collaboration on Water Technology Day 2021.

The memorandum of understanding is between the Danish Water Technology Alliance and the San Diego Regional Water Tech Alliance. The Danish Water Technology Alliance builds bridges between the North American and Danish water sector, with the aim of sharing information and fostering collaboration.

The event was held at Oceanside’s San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility in the Pure Water Oceanside center, to highlight the project and educate the delegation. Pure Water Oceanside will be the first water reuse project to go online in San Diego County. Oceanside Mayor Esther Sanchez and Water Utilities Director Cari Dale received the Minister for the Environment of Denmark, and her delegation, to provide a tour of the project and discussed a shared alliance to local, national, and international water security.

City of Oceanside Gets Smart On Water Technology Projects & Plans

The City of Oceanside continues to be at the forefront of water management in San Diego county with projects like WaterSmart meters and Pure Water Oceanside that demonstrate the city’s commitment to deliver clean, safe and affordable water.

A recent Voice of San Diego report showed Oceanside has among the lowest water rate increases in the county with an average 13.7% increase from 2017 to 2022. Compare that to the sizeable 38% increase in water rates for Del Mar during the same 5 year time period.

Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Plant Preparing to Open

San Diego County has been planning ways to increase its sustainable water supply and one of the planned methods is through turning wastewater into potable water. There are three sites planned in the county and the first one, Pure Water Oceanside, is set to open before the end of 2021.

Pure Water Oceanside should begin operations mid-December and initially will help produce 30% of Oceanside’s water supply. The city has a goal of creating 50% of the water supply locally by 2030, and this facility will help make that happen.

Oceanside Wins Top Award From Watereuse California

The City of Oceanside won an Award of Excellence for its recycled water outreach and education program on its water purification project, called Pure Water Oceanside, at the recent WateReuse California annual conference.

The award recognizes the city’s community outreach on the benefits of water reuse and its furthering of water recycling through its Pure Water Oceanside project.

The project, billed as the first fully operational indirect potable reuse project in San Diego County, is expected to provide about a third of Oceanside’s water supply.

North County Students Make Splash in Water District Contests

Local students floated lots of good ideas in the 30th annual Water Awareness Poster Contest, sponsored by North County’s water agencies. This year’s theme was “Love Water, Save Water.”

The contest for fourth-graders aims to increase understanding and appreciation for conserving water and using it more efficiently. Students showed ways they love water, how they save water at home, or ways to save or recycle water in the future to help the Earth. Winning students artwork is printed in the 2022 North County Water Agency Calendar. Free copies are available at local water district offices, usually by mid-November.