San Diego is reusing wastewater — shouldn’t you? Part I

| by Tom Smith
San Diego is reusing wastewater — shouldn’t you? Part I

The city of San Diego is the eighth largest city in the U.S. and the second largest in California. It has limited local water sources and relies on importing 85 to 90 percent of its water supply.

In the past, importing water from the Colorado River and Northern California has been a low-cost, reliable option. However, environmental stresses and court-ordered pumping restrictions have continued to reduce the amount of water that can be delivered to San Diego.

These circumstances and the threat of further limitations on water supplies increased San Diego's need for new sources of water. As part of the city's effort to provide a local and sustainable water supply, the city is examining the use of advanced water purification technology to provide safe and reliable water for San Diego's future.

The Water Purification Demonstration Project is the second phase of a process evaluating ways for the city to increase its use of recycled water. The first phase was a 2005 Water Reuse Study that identified reservoir augmentation as the preferred option for developing recycled water solutions.

Reservoir augmentation is a multi-step process that includes:

  • Using advanced water purification technology on highly treated wastewater
  • Sending the purified water to a reservoir to blend with existing water supplies
  • Treating the blended water again to be distributed as drinking water

The Demonstration Project is underway and will conclude in early 2013. During this time, the Advanced Water Purification Facility will be tested for one year and will produce one million gallons of purified water per day.

Potential benefits of implementing reservoir augmentation in San Diego include:

  • Provide a local and sustainable supply of high-quality drinking water for San Diego
  • Improve the quality of water in the San Vicente Reservoir
  • Decrease dependence on imported water
  • Increase water reuse
  • Provide a supply of water that uses less energy than imported water
  • Have a positive impact on the environment by producing less discharge into the ocean and working toward lower carbon emissions

As water becomes more precious we believe more cities and communities need to consider their water reuse options.

Is your city or community considering water reuse as a way to lessen the burden on our limited natural resources?


Topics: Water Quality, Water Saving Devices

Companies: Anua



Tom Smith
Tom Smith is the former director of operations and marketing at Anua. Tom is driving demand for wastewater treatment, water reuse, rainwater harvesting and odor/VOC control solutions. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business.

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