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Public Utilities

First Phase of Pure Water San Diego Takes Big Step Forward with Environmental Approval

City Council Unanimously Approves Environmental Impact Report for North City Facility Scheduled to Open in 2021 and Provide 30 Million Gallons of Recycled Water Daily

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE

SAN DIEGO – With the goal of creating an independent, drought-proof local water supply for San Diego residents, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer won unanimous City Council approval Tuesday for the Environmental Impact Report for the first phase of the Pure Water San Diego recycling program.

Pure Water San Diego is the City's phased, multi-year program that will provide one-third of San Diego's water supply locally by 2035. The Pure Water program will use proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water. The program offers a cost-effective investment for San Diego's water needs and will provide a reliable, sustainable water supply.

The program will eventually recycle up to 83 million gallons of wastewater per day. It is one of the major sustainability projects that support Mayor Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan.

“This is a major step forward as we chart a path toward water independence for San Diego,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Pure Water is a cutting-edge approach and an investment in our city’s future that will ensure that we have a drought-proof local water supply for generations to come.”

The first phase of Pure Water – scheduled to open in 2021 – would expand the City’s potable water production capacity by 30 million gallons per day to replace the use of imported water. It calls for new construction, upgrades to existing facilities and construction of new pump stations and pipelines. The new North City Pure Water Facility would be constructed on a city-owned parcel east of Interstate 805 and north of Eastgate Mall – across from the existing North City Water Reclamation Plant.

The second and third phases of Pure Water will build water facilities and pipelines in the Central Area and South Bay, respectively.

“Today’s vote is all about establishing a local water supply that San Diegans can rely on regardless of future drought conditions,” said Vic Bianes, the City’s Public Utilities Director. “We applaud the City Council for its support on this decision that was a long time coming.”

The Pure Water program also would divert wastewater flows away from the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, which treats wastewater before it’s piped into the ocean. That would allow for a higher level of treatment for wastewater and negate the need to convert the Point Loma plant to secondary treatment which would cost ratepayers billions of dollars.

CONTACT:  Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or