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Water Reuse Study E-Update - November 2005

The Water Reuse Study team has created this "E-Update" to keep you up-to-date on Study activities and provide news about the recycled water industry. Each issue will be posted on this website. We are sending e-mail announcements of new issues to persons who have expressed an interest in the Study. If you did not receive an e-mail announcement and would like to, please join our news group. If you did receive an announcement about this issue, you are automatically in the news group.

If you are new to the Water Reuse Study, the Study Overview will provide helpful background information. The Frequently Asked Questions section contains additional material that may also be of interest.

Public Utilities Advisory Commission Supports Study Reuse Strategies

On November 21, 2005, the City's Public Utilities Advisory Commission (PUAC) approved a resolution to recommend that the City Council and Mayor adopt the Water Reuse Study 2005 PDF icon American Assembly II Workshop Statement as the City's policy on water reuse. The action was in keeping with a resolution made by the PUAC Education Committee at their meeting on November 4th. The vice-chair of the Education Committee presented their report at the November 21st meeting.

The Resolution referencing the Study contained three other elements:

  1. acknowledging a completion of assignments in the City Council Resolution dated January 13, 2004 implementing the Study,
  2. urging the Council and Mayor to direct staff to develop a scope of work and strategy to implement items in the American Assembly II Workshop Statement,
  3. requesting staff to report back at least annually to the PUAC on implementing the policies, strategies and projects described in the American Assembly II Workshop Statement.

By supporting the City of San Diego Assembly on Water Reuse (American Assembly) Workshop II Statement, the PUAC is recommending that the City Council consider implementing water reuse strategies that include reservoir augmentation which maximizes production capabilities at the City's two water reclamation plants. Reservoir augmentation would use "advanced treated" recycled water to supplement imported water and local runoff stored in specific City reservoirs. After blending with these other water sources for a period of time, the water would then be treated at a drinking water filtration plant to meet all state and federal standards before becoming part of the City's drinking water (potable water) supply.

Recycled Water Quality Is Strictly Monitored

In evaluating the various options for increasing the use of recycled water in the city, the most important consideration has been addressing public health and safety for recycled water. The North City Water Reclamation Plant has been producing high quality tertiary level recycled water since 1997. This water is currently distributed to customers for irrigation and industrial purposes and is considered safe for human (skin) contact and even accidental ingestion.

The California State Department of Health Services regulates and monitors the laboratory testing at water reclamation plants. Together with local health agencies, officials monitor recycled water use and distribution at all customer sites in the San Diego area. Although not required by law, the City of San Diego publishes information on recycled water quality on the recycled water produced at the City facilities.

The Water Reuse Study's Interim Report includes strategies that use advanced treated recycled water to supplement untreated drinking water supplies stored in city reservoirs (reservoir augmentation). To supplement existing studies available from other water recycling agencies, research is underway at the North City Water Reclamation Plant Aqua 2030 Research Center to analyze the effectiveness of the advanced treatment process on tertiary level recycled water produced at the plant. To see the three steps being tested, watch a video clip on Advanced Treatment Steps taken from the Study's educational video. These three steps will also be used for the Orange County Water District's Groundwater Replenishment System, scheduled to come on line in 2007.

City Reaching Out to Water Agencies Across the County

As part of the Water Reuse Study's public outreach activities, several presentations have been made to member agencies of the San Diego County Water Authority. To date, eight presentations have been made to public water agencies across the county. A list of PDF icon completed presentations is available and more presentations are being scheduled. The purpose of these presentations is to ensure that local water officials are kept informed about the Study and the strategies identified for increased use of recycled water. The feedback that Study team members have received has been positive. There is general support for a wide variety of recycled water options and a strong interest in advanced water treatment technologies.

In the News

News Articles of Interest - a chronological compilation with links to articles, materials and information about recycled water and related topics. Recent additions include:

Be sure to visit these and other areas of our website

  • Speakers Bureau information - how to contact the Study team for a presentation, a list of completed presentations, and a downloadable flyer on the Speakers Bureau.
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