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San Diego’s Landmark Water Recycling Project May Face Longer Delays Than Expected

San Diego’s long-awaited Pure Water project, a sewage recycling system that would boost the city’s water independence, is facing legal challenges that could last longer and cost more than city officials previously anticipated.

First Advanced Water Purification Facility in San Diego County is On the Map

City of Oceanside officials and regional water industry leaders gathered today to break ground on Pure Water Oceanside, the first advanced water purification facility in San Diego County. The $67 million project – scheduled to be completed in 2021 – will purify recycled water sourced from the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

“Today, we put Pure Water Oceanside on the map and are one step closer to achieving the goal of greater water-independence for our city, residents and businesses,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director. “This future-focused project will provide multiple benefits by reusing our water resources to their full potential.”

Oceanside Leads County With Plan to Make Recycled Water Safe to Drink

Oceanside celebrated the start of construction Wednesday on a project that could make it the first city in San Diego County to be drinking recycled water by 2022.

At least two other cities or water districts are close behind on similar projects, and several more agencies are considering plans to make potable recycled water a significant portion of their supply.

“We are one step closer to completing a project that will supply 30 percent of Oceanside’s water,” said Cari Dale, the city’s water utilities director, to guests at the city’s San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

Oceanside Breaks Ground on Water Recycling Project

The city of Oceanside broke ground Wednesday on a water recycling facility that it says will eventually provide 32%, or one-third, the city’s drinkable water supply.

City and state leaders were at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility to unveil the plan and discuss the benefits for the city. Oceanside says it needs this facility because the cost of importing water from hundreds of miles away is too expensive. Also, a local aquifer is running out of water.

Water Board OKs $3.2M Live Oak Water Plant Land Purchase

CAPITOLA — A planned water recycling plant project took a leap forward this week after approval of a new land purchase.

The Soquel Creek Water District board voted unanimously Tuesday night to exercise its $3.2 million option to purchase nearly 2 acres of Live Oak light industrial property at the corner of Chanticleer and Soquel drives. The site at 2505 Chanticleer Ave. will be the future home of an advanced purification water plant, which the district’s dubs its Pure Water Soquel project.

During today’s ceremony, city leaders and water experts placed a giant Google Maps “location pin” into the ground at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility, which marked that the new recycled water project is now officially on the map. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

First Advanced Water Purification Facility in San Diego County is On the Map

City of Oceanside officials and regional water industry leaders gathered today to break ground on Pure Water Oceanside, the first advanced water purification facility in San Diego County. The $67 million project – scheduled to be completed in 2021 – will purify recycled water sourced from the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

“Today, we put Pure Water Oceanside on the map and are one step closer to achieving the goal of greater water-independence for our city, residents and businesses,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director. “This future-focused project will provide multiple benefits by reusing our water resources to their full potential.”

Reducing dependence on imported supplies

The local project will reduce Oceanside’s dependence on imported water by more than 30%. The purification process is inspired by the natural water cycle and reduces the amount of recycled water discharged into the ocean.

The project is partially funded by the Local Resources Program through the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

“The tremendous conservation focus, water infrastructure planning and investment by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies has put our regional supplies in solid standing,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “The mission of providing reliable water supplies to San Diego County can be likened to a puzzle; there are many pieces that fit together to create an overall solution. Our next increment of supply in the San Diego region is from potable reuse projects.”

Improving local resources in a sustainable way

During today’s ceremony, city leaders and water experts placed a giant Google Maps “location pin” into the ground at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility, which marked that the new recycled water project is now officially on the map. Guests were invited to take tours of the existing facility to see the location of the new infrastructure and learn how purification technology works.

“Being on the map signifies not only that this project will be an historic landmark, but also a symbolic one that will serve as an example for other cities and agencies that are interested in initiating this type of program,” said Jack Simes, acting area manager at the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

Pure Water Oceanside Groundbreaking-February 2020-Water News Network-SDCWA

Construction is underway on the $67 million Pure Water Oceanside project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

In addition to reducing dependence on imported water supplies, the project will improve groundwater resources and help protect the environment by reducing dependency on imported supplies that can disrupt ecosystems.

“We need to pursue new and innovative solutions to protect our land and water for future generations,” said Congressman Mike Levin, whose district includes coastal North County. “Pure Water’s commitment to providing over 30% of the drinking water in the City of Oceanside in a way that is clean, safe, sustainable and environmentally sound is commendable.”

Technologically advanced water purification process

Pure Water Oceanside will use state-of-the-art water purification technology that replicates and accelerates nature’s natural recycling process.

First microfiltration filters remove bacteria and suspended solids from reclaimed water. Then ultra-fine reverse osmosis filters remove salt, viruses, other bacteria, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Next, the water is treated with ultraviolet light and advanced oxidation technologies that neutralize any remaining substances.

Minerals are injected back into the water before the water is added to Mission Basin in Oceanside. Water can then be extracted from the aquifer, treated once again at the Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility and finally, distributed to residents and businesses.

Oceanside Breaks Ground on Advanced Water Purification Plant

OCEANSIDE (KUSI) – Oceanside officials broke ground Wednesday on Pure Water Oceanside, a recycled-water purification plant billed as the first of its kind in the county.

The $67 million project will take water from Oceanside’s San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility and purify it to drinking water standards in a way project proponents describe as “clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound.”

The site’s technology will be used to replicate and accelerate the natural recycling process to provide 3 million to 5 million gallons of fresh water a day, more than 32% of Oceanside’s water supply.

City of Oceanside to Break Ground on Pure Water Oceanside

Marking a historic moment for the city of Oceanside and the region, city officials and water industry leaders will break ground on Pure Water Oceanside on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility. Scheduled to be completed before the end of 2021, Pure Water Oceanside will be on the map as the first operating recycled water project in San Diego County.

Pure Water Oceanside will purify recycled water using state-of-the-art purification technology that replicates and accelerate nature’s natural recycling process to create a new local source of high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound. Pure Water Oceanside will lead the way in the region in providing a sustainable water supply for its residents, businesses and visitors. Once finished, the project will provide more than 32% of the city of Oceanside’s water supply, or 3-5 million gallons per day.

At the groundbreaking, Congressman Mike Levin, City of Oceanside Water Utilities Director Cari Dale, San Diego County Water Authority General Manager Sandra Kerl, Bureau of Reclamation Area Manager Jack Simes and Metropolitan Water District Special Projects Manager Meena Westford will discuss the many benefits of the project – including reducing dependence on increasingly expensive imported water, safeguarding against drought and ensuring an exceptionally pure drinking water supply is available for future generations.

Vactor Truck-Leucadia Wastewater District-

Water Agencies Team Up to Reduce Potable Water Use

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District and Leucadia Wastewater District are reducing potable water use by switching to recycled water to flush sewer lines in their service areas.

With the recent installation of new equipment by both agencies, recycled water is now available to Leucadia for sewer line maintenance in the Village Park neighborhood in Encinitas and in the La Costa neighborhood in Carlsbad.

Regular flushing is important for gravity-fed sewer line maintenance. The process involves filling a specialized sewer cleaning vehicle, known as a vactor truck, with water and injecting the water into a sewer main. Flushing the pipes in proper working condition extends their lifetime by removing materials such as grease and roots, which can cause clogs and sewage overflows. Once flushed, a pipeline can be inspected and its condition assessed.

Recycled water, not potable water, now used to flush sewer lines

Prior to this project, Leucadia did not have access to recycled water in Olivenhain’s service area, instead filling vactor trucks with potable water. Leucadia identified the opportunity to reduce potable water use and save its ratepayers money, and approached Olivenhain about creating points at which the wastewater district could fill trucks with recycled water. Five locations throughout Encinitas and Carlsbad were selected.

“It’s a pleasure to partner with neighboring agencies for the common good,” said Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board President Ed Sprague stated. “Simple changes such as these add up and help ensure a reliable water supply for future generations.”

Regional partnership conserves drinking water

“Leucadia is excited to continue its regional partnership with the Olivenhain Municipal Water District,” said David Kulchin, Leucadia’s board president. “Using recycled water to clean sewer pipelines not only saves precious potable water supplies but continues our efforts to utilize renewable resources to the maximum extent possible.”

In addition to sewer line flushing, municipal street sweeping vehicles that were previously using potable water will be able to access recycled water thanks to the new connections. In accordance with state regulations governing recycled water use, the vactor trucks and street sweeping vehicles will have separate filling systems for potable and recycled water.

Approximately 14% of Olivenhain’s overall water demand is met with recycled water. Olivenhain produces up to two million gallons per day of recycled water at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility and supplements additional demand with recycled water purchased from Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District, City of San Diego, Vallecitos Water District, and San Elijo Joint Powers Authority.

New Water Recycling Projects Will Help Battle Central Coast’s Seawater Invasion

For decades, California’s coastal aquifers have been plagued by invading seawater, turning pristine wells into salty ruins. But the state’s coastal water agencies now plan to get more aggressive in holding back the invasion by injecting millions of gallons of treated sewage and other purified wastewater deep underground. The additional groundwater will both enhance potable water supplies and help prevent saltwater from seeping further into coastal California’s massive subterranean reservoirs. A decade ago, Orange County was the first in California to successfully employ this tactic — mocked by critics as a “toilet to tap” solution.