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Construction of Sewage Recycling Pipeline Expected to Disrupt Neighborhoods This Summer, Fall

Neighborhoods across northern San Diego will be disrupted by tunneling and pipeline construction this summer when work kicks into high gear on Pure Water, the largest infrastructure project in city history.

With contracts totaling more than $1 billion recently awarded for eight of the 10 major projects that make up Pure Water’s first phase, city officials say nearly the entire project will be under construction starting in late summer or early fall.

Pure Water Oceanside Becomes First Water Reuse Project to Open in San Diego

Pure Water Oceanside will be the first operating potable water reuse project in San Diego County. Pure Water Oceanside will purify recycled water to provide a local water supply that is clean, safe and drought-proof.

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.)

2022 Water Year Looks Dismal as Snowpack Melts

The optimism spurred by heavy snowstorms in December has melted away, and the 2022 water year is now looking bleak.

After facing the driest recorded January and February in state history, California Department of Water Resources reported that statewide, the snowpack stood at 63% of average for the date last week after conducting the agency’s third manual snow survey of the year.

New Hydration Stations in San Marcos Save Water, Promote Sustainability

The City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District partnered on a new project with funding from the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to encourage water conservation and reduce the use of plastic.

Five hydration stations have been installed in San Marcos parks to encourage the use of refilling reusable bottles during outdoor activities instead of using purchased bottled water. Both the City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District are committed to reducing single-use plastics.

Farley visits one of the new hydration stations in San Marcos. Photo: Vallecitos Water District Wags and Water

New Hydration Stations in San Marcos Save Water, Promote Sustainability

The City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District partnered on a new project with funding from the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to encourage water conservation and reduce the use of plastic.

Five hydration stations have been installed in San Marcos parks to encourage the use of refilling reusable bottles during outdoor activities instead of using purchased bottled water. Both the City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District are committed to reducing single-use plastics.

The new hydration stations help conserve water and avoid the production of single use plastic bottles. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

The new hydration stations help conserve water and avoid the production of single-use plastic bottles. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

The hydration station project received $25,000 in grant funding from the Water Authority and MWD to cover the purchase and installation of the stations and educational signage informing the public about the benefits of tap water over bottled water. The signage also offers several additional steps people can take to conserve water.

New stations encourage reusable water bottle use

“Adding hydration stations throughout the community has been a longtime goal for Vallecitos and is a step in the right direction to increase access to clean drinking water and reduce single-use plastic waste for environmental sustainability,” said Vallecitos board member Mike Sannella. Sannella accepted a proclamation from the City of San Marcos commemorating the partnership, making this project possible.

(L to R): Vallecitos Water District Board President Mike Sannella, San Marcos City Councilmember Randy Walton, Mayor Rebecca Jones, Councilmembers Maria Nunez, Ed Musgrove, and Sharon Jenkins, and Vallecitos Water District Board Jim Pennock. Photo: Vallecitos Water District Hydration stations

(L to R): Vallecitos Water District Board President Mike Sannella, San Marcos City Councilmember Randy Walton, Mayor Rebecca Jones, Councilmembers Maria Nunez, Ed Musgrove, Sharon Jenkins, and Vallecitos Water District Board Jim Pennock. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Each of the five new hydration stations features a quick-fill mechanism to encourage reusable water bottle use, a regular water fountain spout, and a dog bowl. Vallecitos worked with the City of San Marcos’ Public Works Department to install hydration stations at Mission Sports Field Park, Woodland Park, Bradley Park, Connors Park, and Buelow Park.

Bottled water is a wasteful convenience. According to the Water Footprint Calculator, it takes 1.5 gallons of water to manufacture a single plastic bottle holding 16 ounces of drinking water. All plastic drinking bottles are made from new plastic material, so there is no recovery due to recycling.

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

Water Authority Greenhouse Gas Emission Tracking Is Climate Leadership Case Study

The Water Utility Climate Alliance has added the Water Authority’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to its mitigation case studies library. The case studies provide valuable information and inspiration for greenhouse gas mitigation or sewage thermal energy use projects from concept to implementation for water utilities across the U.S.

Phase I Construction-Construction of major water infrastructure for Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego including pipelines, pump stations and treatment facilities is now taking place in the Morena, Bay Park, Clairemont, University City, Miramar and Scripps Ranch communities. Construction affects

Pure Water San Diego Phase 1 Construction in North City Area

Construction work is underway in several areas of San Diego, building major infrastructure projects for Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego.

Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego, including pipelines, pump stations, and treatment facilities, has started in Morena, Bay Park, Clairemont, University City, Miramar, and Scripps Ranch communities. It is a milestone toward the realization of securing a local, drought-resilient water supply for San Diegans for generations to come.

Nearly 50% of San Diego’s water supply

Pure Water is the City of San Diego’s largest-ever infrastructure program that will provide nearly half of San Diego’s water supply by 2035. Pure Water will use purification technology to clean recycled wastewater and is a cost-effective investment for San Diego’s water supply needs.

Residents, businesses, and commuters may be impacted by road closures, detours, and construction noise during construction. Construction for this project will primarily take place on weeknights from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., except on Nobel Drive, when construction will take place on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tunneling work will be done around the clock with adherence to noise requirements.

Pure Water project will reduce dependence on imported water

“Potholing” is underground work that finds the location and depth of existing utilities in the public right-of-way. Potholing is currently being done for the Morena Northern Pipeline & Tunnels and the North City Pure Water San Diego Pipeline projects. Photo: City of San Diego Construction affects

“Potholing” is underground work that finds the location and depth of existing utilities in the public right-of-way. Potholing is currently being done for the Morena Northern Pipeline & Tunnels and the North City Pure Water San Diego Pipeline projects. Photo: City of San Diego

Upon its completion, Pure Water San Diego will contribute 30 million gallons per day of high-quality purified water, reducing the City’s dependence on imported water.

The Morena Northern Pipelines and Tunnels project now underway will connect to the Morena Pipelines Middle Alignment to the south and the North City Water Reclamation Plant to the north.

Water pipelines

This project includes portions of two 10.5-mile pipelines: one 48-inch wastewater pipeline, which will carry wastewater north to the North City facilities for purification, and one 30-inch brine line that will carry the byproduct from water purification south to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

This project begins on Genesee Avenue and Appleton Street and continues on Genesee Avenue, Nobel Drive, Towne Centre Drive, and Executive Drive. Tunneling will be completed at Genesee Avenue and State Route 52 (San Clemente Creek), at Genesee Avenue and Rose Creek Canyon, and under Interstate 805.

Securing San Diego’s sustainable water future

This project begins on Genesee Avenue and Appleton Street and continues on Genesee Avenue, Nobel Drive, Towne Centre Drive, and Executive Drive. Tunneling will be completed at Genesee Avenue and State Route 52 (San Clemente Creek), at Genesee Avenue and Rose Creek Canyon, and under Interstate 805. Map: City of San Diego

Currently, the City of San Diego depends primarily on a reliable imported water supply to deliver clean and safe drinking water to its communities. The investment in advanced water purification with the construction of Pure Water San Diego will help secure a high-quality, safe, local, and drought-proof water supply for the future. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed and commence operation in 2024. Pure Water San Diego will eventually provide nearly half of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035 with the completion of Phase 2.

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 Water Treatment Plant. After this process, the water will be distributed to customers.

You can take a virtual tour of Pure Water San Diego’s demonstration facility at virtualtour.purewatersd.org More information about the Program can be found at www.purewatersd.org.

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

Dropping Reservoirs Create ‘Green Light’ for Sustainability on Colorado River

Some Colorado River scholars say that a plan by the lower-basin states to leave more water in Lake Mead embodies a principle they explore in a recently published article: Dropping reservoir levels have opened a window of opportunity for water-management policies that move the river system toward sustainability.

In December, water managers from California, Nevada and Arizona signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, to spend up to $200 million to add 500,000 acre-feet of water in both 2022 and 2023 to Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, which has dropped precipitously low due to climate change and drought.

Water Authority Earns Climate Registered Gold Status for Climate Initiative

The San Diego County Water Authority has earned Climate Registered gold status from The Climate Registry for verifying and publicly reporting its greenhouse gas emissions. The effort fosters transparency for the agency’s climate mitigation initiatives and will help the Water Authority track and validate emissions reductions in the future.

The Climate Registry operates North America’s largest voluntary registry for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Water Authority’s 2019 and 2020 inventories were verified and published in The Climate Registry’s public database in November, earning the agency gold status for both years.