Oct 09, 2019

$126 Million Water Reuse Project in California Nears Completion

A water treatment plant in Monterey County, Calif., is nearing the completion of its recycled water project.

Glass of water

In Monterey County, Calif., the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project recently celebrated its pending completion at a ribbon cutting ceremony at Monterey One’s Water Regional Treatment Plant. 

Besides creating a sustainable and ultra-pure drinking water supply for locals, it is also expected to eventually provide additional farmland irrigation water, according to its long list of benefits

This $126 million project is the first of its kind to utilize not just wastewater, but storm water, food  industry processing water, and impaired surface waters of the state, according to the Pure Water Monterey website. It is a sustainable solution that aims to conserve and reuse water, as California and other states experience stricter environmental constraints and periodic droughts.

Nevertheless, the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project comes at a cost to local customers, reported the Monterey Herald. Monterey Peninsula customers will pay for California American Water’s (CAW) proposed Monterey Peninsula water supply project, which the recycled water project is a part of. This is the first water rate increase associated with the water supply project, and increases are expected to raise the average residential customer’s base bill to about $135 per month by 2021.

“It’s important that customers understand what these bill increases are for,” said CAW Spokeswoman Catherine Stedman. “This is the cost of securing a sustainable water supply for the Monterey Peninsula.”

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Ernest Conant said that the project had already received $4.1 million in federal grant funding through his agency and could qualify for up to $20 million more, according to a press release on the Monterey One website.

The project is expected to start pumping potable water to the Seaside basin by next month, said  Monterey One Water General Manager Paul Sciuto, to the Monterey Herald. Additionally, a 14-day water quality test is expected to occur by Nov. 8, followed by water delivery just before Thanksgiving if the state signs off. 

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