All drinking water provided by Soquel Creek Water District is from the Mid-County Groundwater Basin. The State of California has designated this basin as “critically overdrafted.” That means we’re pumping out more water than the basin can naturally replenish through rainfall — which causes two serious problems: a shortage of available water, especially during a drought, and seawater moving inland and contaminating our only water supply. PWS will address those two water supply issues.
It will take already treated wastewater (that otherwise would be pumped out into the ocean) and instead pump it to a new water purification center where it will undergo a state-of-the-science, multi-step purification process. Purified water is safe and clean — it will be tested regularly to ensure it meets all federal and state drinking water standards. PWS will employ some of the same purification methods used by baby food manufacturers, and other industries where ultra-purified water is required. Removing or neutralizing pathogens such as viruses has been part of most water treatment processes for many years — and advanced water purification goes even farther. The purification process, including ozone, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light with advanced oxidation, is proven to produce clean, safe, near-distilled water.
Purified recycled water is already being used for groundwater recharge in other parts of California, including Monterey, and throughout the world. The purification will take place at the new Water Purification Center—which will be located near Highway 1 and Chanticleer Avenue — and then this water will be conveyed to the Seawater Intrusion Prevention Wells to replenish the basin and create a barrier against seawater intrusion.
This will result in preserving the basin — and our precious water supply — for the community and the families of today and the future.
In 2014, the Soquel Creek Water District Board approved further evalaution of purified water for groundwater replenishment as a water supply option which initiated the technical feasibility and environmental review and permitting phase. In 2018, the Project's environmental review was certified and the approved by the District's Board of Directors. The Project is currently in construction and anticipated to come on-line in 2024.
The Pure Water Soquel's capital construction costs are approximately $145 million. The District has been very fortunate to receive state and federal grants and loans which reflect the investment into our community's water future. These include:
- Planning grant from the State Water Resources Control Board ($2M)
- Implementation grant from the State Water Resources Control Board ($50M)
- Title XVI Reclamation and Reuse Grant from the Bureau of Reclamation ($30M)
- Low interest loans through CA Seawater Intrusion Control Loan Program and the US EPA's WIFIA Program