California Marine base Camp Pendleton announced that it will open a $45 million wastewater treatment plant to help keep the ocean clean.
The plant also aims to prevent beach-closing sewage spills and preserve drinking water in the base by providing recycled water for irrigation.
According to the North County Times, the San Diego Water Quality Board voted unanimously 5-0 to amend the base’s permit for discharging wastewater into the ocean. This made it possible for Camp Pendleton to begin using the new plant.
The plant is capable of processing 5 million gallons of sewage a day and has four 100-by-100-foot concrete basins. It is located less than a mile from the beach near the base.
Environmentalists and state regulators indicated to the North County Times that they were pleased with the development.
The new plant should also reduce the concentrations of oil and grease in wastewater and stop the sewage spills that have been occurring often on the base.
Cambridge, Mass.-based CDM built the plant, and will operate it for at least three years. Currently, the company is testing the plant.
After phase two is completed in March of 2008, the base will stop putting sewage in the ocean and pipe the recycled water through an irrigation system. The water will then go to a golf course, athletic fields and horse pastures.
The second phase will start in mid-October and will cost $46 million.