The City of San Diego’s $3 billion Pure Water San Diego Program has achieved a significant milestone on its path to providing one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally by the end of 2035. A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit has been granted to the City by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to add purified water to the Miramar Reservoir for Phase 1 of the Program.
The phased, multi-year program is intended to help the city overcome its water challenges by transforming its existing water system into a complete water cycle that maximizes the use and reuse of its water supply and reduces ocean discharges.
The Stantec/Brown and Caldwell team is providing program management services to support the City with Phase 1 of the program from planning through implementation, including the integration of all services and facilities.
It’s first phase includes a series of facilities and pipelines to clean recycled water to produce 30 million gallons per day (MGD) of high-quality purified water, reducing the City’s dependence on imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The purified water will blend with the city’s imported and local water sources and be re-treated at the Miramar Water Treatment Plant before distribution to the public. Phase 1 projects include the Morena Pump Station and Pipelines, North City Water Reclamation Plant Expansion, North City Pure Water Facility, and North City Pure Water Pump Station and Pipeline.
Part of the Clean Water Act, NPDES permits contain discharge limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to address water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. The NPDES permit issued to the city is the first for a reservoir augmentation project in California and a major milestone for the Pure Water San Diego Program.
“Water supply is perhaps the most critical issue that San Diego must continue to address given its semi-arid climate and reliance on imported supplies,” San Diego Public Utilities Department assistant director John Stufflebean said in a statement. “Pure Water San Diego is an essential component to ensure the long-term health and vibrancy of one of the world’s most desirable places to live.”
“Our team applauds the City of San Diego’s leadership team on this significant milestone for this important, high-profile program,” said Stantec Consultant program manager Doug Owen. “Pure Water San Diego and the City’s vision to create a new, sustainable water supply for generations to come is a foundational model for future potable reuse projects.”
Early site work construction activities are under way.