San Diego water purification plant hits milestone with 5,000th tour guest

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SAN DIEGO, CA, May 19, 2014 -- Last week the city of San Diego, Calif., welcomed its 5,000th tour guest to the Advanced Water Purification (AWP) Facility -- an accomplishment that ultimately prompted a historic milestone for the utility.

Since July 2011, more than 350 tours have been given to groups including Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, elected officials, contractors, neighborhood councils, water industry professionals, and school classes ranging from elementary to postdoctoral.

The free tours are part of the education and outreach program for Pure Water San Diego, the city's 20-year program to provide a safe, secure and sustainable local drinking water supply for San Diego through the use of water purification technology. During the tour, the water purification process is explained in detail, and participants get an up-close look at the technology used.

The AWP Facility, located at the North City Water Reclamation Plant, takes recycled water and turns it into safe drinkable water through a three-step treatment process of membrane filtration, reverse osmosis (RO) and advanced oxidation with ultraviolet (UV) light and hydrogen peroxide. One million gallons of water is purified every day. The water produced meets all federal and state drinking water standards but is for testing purposes only. Currently, the water is not added to the drinking water supply.

Pure Water San Diego's education and outreach program, which also includes community presentations, social media and event participation, has served as a model to other agencies seeking to implement water purification. Water agencies from as far away as Australia and China have visited the AWP Facility to learn more about how to best communicate about water purification to the public. The city's program has increased understanding and approval of water purification in San Diego, with public support rising from 26 percent in 2004 to 73 percent in 2012.

See also: "City Opens Doors to Water Purification Demonstration Project"


About Pure Water San Diego

Pure Water San Diego is the city's 20-year program to provide a safe, secure and sustainable local drinking water supply for San Diego. A demonstration project (2009-2013) confirmed the feasibility of using water purification technology to supplement imported water supplies in the San Vicente Reservoir. An initial 15-million gallon per day water purification facility is planned to be in operation by 2025. By 2035, 30 percent of San Diego's drinking water supply could come from the use of water purification technology. For more information, click here.

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