San Diego's water recycling program moves forward at an accelerated pace

The water recycling system, dubbed “Pure Water,” is designed to decrease the city’s dependence on imported waters, and comes at a total cost of $3 million.

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SAN DIEGO, CA, OCTOBER 28, 2016 -- San Diego City Council members helped to accelerate plans for the city’s water recycling program this week. The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the council approved an accelerated timeline for the city’s water recycling system, comprehensive environmental analysis, funding $52 million in projects, and endorsing plans to use methane from a local landfill as a power source for water purification.

The water recycling system, dubbed “Pure Water,” is designed to decrease the city’s dependence on imported waters, and comes at a total cost of $3 million. Under the new, sped-up schedule, 30 million gallons of sewage a day will be recycled into drinking water by 2021. The previous plan called for these changes by 2027.

Originally, the recycling system was to be split between two locations: the Miramar purification plant and a yet-to-be-built plant in the South Bay area of Otay Mesa. The new plan will recycle water at the Miramar plant, then pump the water into a reservoir 8 miles away, closer than an originally-selected location, 18 miles away. The shorter distance means less time and money spent constructing a pipeline.

Additional phases of the Pure Water plan include upgrades to existing water treatment plants in the city and construction of new pipelines and plants to get the amount of recycled water used in the city up to one-third of the city’s water supply.

Opponents of the plan argue that the accelerated timeline will increase rates for taxpayers too quickly, and that the financial burden will fall outside of county lines. Plans must still be approved by the state legislature.

Read the full story here.

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