News Flash

Water Wisdom

Posted on: November 1, 2019

Celebrating Ribbon Cutting of Water Purification Across Bay - Pure Water Monterey - November 2019

As our Pure Water Soquel project continues with design and towards construction, we are happy to congratulate our friends across the bay at Monterey One Water, upon their recent ribbon cutting of their Pure Water Monterey advanced water purification facility last month!

Pure Water Monterey's water purification technology is very similar to what is planned here for Pure Water Soquel: microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light/oxidation. This is proven, state-of-the-science technology, repeatedly shown to produce water which meets all state and federal drinking water standards.

In Monterey, they'll produce up to 3,500 acre-feet of clean water annually. That water will be pumped into their Seaside Groundwater Basin to enhance natural recharge, combat seawater intrusion, and help the region meet its water demand.

That should all sound very familiar - Pure Water Soquel will be doing the same thing with our planned 1,500 annual acre-feet of purified water. And by the way, the processes that are being incorporated into the treatment designs for both Soquel and Monterey are essentially the same as those used by the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System. That system has been in operation for over three decades, and has produced nearly 300 billion gallons of purified water for pumping into their groundwater basin and percolation basins.

Pure Water Monterey is also to be congratulated for its innovation in utilizing four different kinds of source water in its purification process. Traditionally, source water for water recycling is municipal wastewater, as will be the case with Pure Water Soquel. The Pure Water Monterey project will also use drainage water from agricultural irrigation, food industry processing water, and some stormwater. All four source waters are routed to the Monterey One Water facility for traditional primary and secondary wastewater treatment.

Based on the local availability of source water and the scale of our project, Pure Water Soquel will use one source water: treated municipal wastewater from Santa Cruz. At the same time, we continue to explore other ways to supplement our existing water supply as part of our Community Water Plan. For example, excess surface (river) water is being transferred to the District on a limited and seasonal test basis to determine the feasibility of treating and blending it into the District's distribution system. We're also looking at stormwater capture as another small supplemental source. Both of those sources of water can add to our overall supply, but are not sufficient by themselves to meet the critical need of recharging the groundwater basin. The 1,500 acre-feet annually to be produced by Pure Water Soquel will be used to recharge the groundwater basin, maintain a seawater barrier, and ensure a stable, sustainable water supply for the community.

Monterey worked hard to gain grants and obtain low-interest loans to help finance their pure water project. Here in Soquel, we are doing the same - we've already received a $2 million grant from California's Proposition 1 Water Bond funding program to support Pure Water Soquel technical and environmental evaluations. And, we have applied for two additional grants for up to $70 million which would cover more than half of the cost of building Pure Water Soquel.

We're thrilled that Monterey's facility is nearing completion, and that they are leading the way in the use of advanced purified water. Their project is the first advanced water purification facility on the central coast support potable reuse.

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