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U.S. House OKs Bill Giving San Diego Long Sought Relief on Point Loma Sewer Discharge Rules

San Diego is one step closer to federal legislation that would save taxpayers millions by essentially exempting the city from having to get a Clean Water Act waiver every five years for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 395-4 last week in favor of legislation that supporters say is game changing. The law, the Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II, still must be approved by the U.S. Senate and then signed by President Trump.

Another Agency Wrestles With a Weighted Voting Structure

How should power over water decisions in San Diego be divided?

Should the city of San Diego, which represents almost 40 percent of the region’s water consumers, have the most sway?

Or should smaller cities be on equal footing when the outcome of a decision could harm towns with less people and money?

That is the question facing San Diego County Water Authority once again, after the latest vote over a $5 billion duplicate pipeline to the Colorado River. Directors voted down spending $1.7 million more to study the project further, in raw numbers. Twenty of the agency’s 36 directors said no to the pipeline, and 14 said yes.

Popular Lake Miramar Gets Key New Role Just as it Turns 60

Lake Miramar, a longtime recreational oasis celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is about to become a key part of San Diego’s new $5 billion Pure Water system that will boost the city’s water independence by recycling treated sewage.

The last of San Diego’s nine city reservoirs to be built, Lake Miramar attracts an estimated 100,000 people a year for jogging, biking, fishing, boating, picnicking and other activities.

water recycling-national recycling day

New Water Recycling Videos on National Recycling Day

National Recycling Day on November 15 celebrates and promotes recycling practices to reduce waste and decrease energy demands, ultimately preventing pollution and fighting climate change. This year, the Water Authority partnered with the Southern California Water Coalition to promote water recycling.

National Recycling Day brings new video series

The Water Authority and other SCWC members, worked through the Coalition’s Recycled Water Task Force, along with other water districts and agencies in Southern California to create a new video series. The informative video series was created to educate the public on the use of recycled water in Southern California. The three-part video series shares a simple message – Water: Too Precious to Use Just Once.

The short videos explain the basics of water recycling and its importance as part of a diverse set of solutions employed by water agencies and local governments to stretch limited water resources. The series describes what water recycling is, how it is safe, and how it is used and will be used in the future.

“This new video series is the result of many water agencies and experts working in partnership to promote inclusive educational outreach about the safety and importance of water recycling in our communities,” said Lesley Dobalian, principal water resources specialist for the Water Authority and a member of the Recycled Water Task Force.

Water Too Precious to Use Just Once

Water recycling is the process of taking water that has already been used and treating it to levels safe for further beneficial use. Recycled water is highly regulated, and its use must comply with strict environmental and safety rules and requirements.

Thanks to advancements in water treatment technologies, reycled water is used to water landscapes, for commercial and industrial processes, and to recharge underground aquifers. Recycled water is also tapped for potable reuse through reservoir augmentation.

Water recycling is key to the region’s future

Recycled water is one more tool in the San Diego region’s water portfolio approach to provide a resilient water supply in the face of a changing climate. The  Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have increased the region’s water supply reliability through diversified and innovative technologies like water recycling.

The Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have promoted the advancement of water recycling and potable reuse in San Diego County by developing educational resources such as potablereuse.sdcwa.org and obtaining outside funding from the Metropolitan Water District’s local resource program, and local, state, and federal grant and loan opportunities. Over the last year the Water Authority Board supported local potable reuse projects such as Pure Water San Diego, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program, and Pure Water Oceanside.

The video series was made possible through funding provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the work of members of SCWC’s Water Recycling Task Force video subcommittee, comprised of representatives from the San Diego County Water Authority and other agencies throughout Southern California.

Pure Water San Diego Launches Guided Virtual Tour

The City of San Diego’s Pure Water Demonstration Facility public tour is now available as a virtual tour. A new video provides an up-close look at the technology behind the water purification plant.  In-person tours are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and will resume once it is safe to do so. Since opening in June 2011, nearly 19,000 people have toured the one-million-gallon-per-day facility in person.

Pure Water San Diego Associate Engineer Anthony Van guides a new virtual tour of the demonstration facility. Photo: City of San Diego

Pure Water San Diego Launches Guided Virtual Tour

The City of San Diego’s Pure Water Demonstration Facility public tour is now available as a virtual tour. A new video provides an up-close look at the technology behind the water purification plant. In-person tours are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and will resume once it is safe to do so.

Since opening in June 2011, nearly 19,000 people have toured the one-million-gallon-per-day facility in person. Now, the Pure Water Demonstration Facility Virtual Tour takes viewers step-by-step through each of the five treatment processes used to create Pure Water.

Members of the City Pure Water team including wastewater operators, engineers, and water resource specialists explain the equipment and technology. Each is accompanied by graphics and animations showing the inner workings of each barrier. The video also includes drone footage for a bird’s-eye view perspective not previously available to the public.

Take the Pure Water San Diego virtual tour

Phase 1 construction on schedule to begin in early 2021

Construction of Phase 1 of the Pure Water Program is scheduled to begin in early 2021. Phase 1 will include a full-scale, 30-million-gallon-per-day Pure Water Facility that will use the five water purification steps modeled at the Demonstration Facility.

The North City Pure Water Facility will be constructed on a City of San Diego owned parcel east of Interstate 805 and north of Eastgate Mall, across from the existing North City Water Reclamation Plant.

Senior Wastewater Operations Supervisor John Carroll gives viewers a bird's eye view of the facility. Photo: City of San Diego

Senior Wastewater Operations Supervisor John Carroll gives viewers a bird’s eye view of the facility. Photo: City of San Diego

Purified water produced at the completed plant will be delivered to the Miramar Reservoir, blended with the City of San Diego’s imported and local water sources, and treated again at the existing Miramar Drinking Water Treatment Plant. After this process, the water will be distributed to customers. Phase 1 projects are expected to be completed in 2025.

The tour video is available at virtualtour.purewatersd.org More information about the Program can be found at www.purewatersd.org.

City Refinances Loan for Pure Water Project, Saving $293 Million Over 15 Years

The City of San Diego announced Thursday it has refinanced a loan with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that city leaders say will save $293 million for taxpayers as the public utilities department begins work on Pure Water San Diego — the largest infrastructure project in the city’s history.

Pursuing Independent Water Sources, San Diego Ignores One Beneath Its Feet

San Diego is not well endowed with many freshwater sources to support its growing population, so some water experts are perplexed the city’s ignoring a self-replenishing local groundwater source that, though small in size, is safe from the threat of natural disasters and reliably recharged by the San Diego River.

‘Project Labor’ Deal to Help Revive San Diego’s Stalled $5B Pure Water Project

San Diego officials have agreed to the first “project labor agreement” in city history to help resolve legal challenges that have stalled Pure Water, a $5 billion sewage recycling system that would produce one-third of the city’s water.

Politics Report: City’s Big Recycled Water Project Wins in Court

San Diego’s oft-delayed Pure Water project – a bid to create a third of the city’s water from recycled sewage – scored a victory in court Friday that could get the $5 billion project back on track.

Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss ruled there was no conflict between a state law that prohibits cities from banning union-friendly construction contracts if they want state funding, and a 2012 ballot measure that prohibited the city from requiring those very contracts on city projects.