San Diego

Pure Water Projects Cloudy Costs

City will not release cost ratepayers will pay for turning wastewater into potable drinking water

The City of San Diego’s Pure Water initiative, which will turn the city’s wastewater into drinking water for one-third of San Diegans comes with a hefty price tag.

The city estimates it will cost $3 billion.

As for how much of the cost taxpayers will have to pay, the city refuses to say.

NBC 7 Responds’ media partner, Voice of San Diego, began asking the city for the cost ratepayers will shoulder for the program that will filter wastewater into potable drinking water in December of last year.

The city, however, says it will take years before that information is released. Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Public Works Johnnie Perkins, does acknowledge however, that ratepayers will be tapped for cash in one form or another.

“Ratepayers are fully aware that rates were going up to pay for Pure Water," Perkins said.

Then in January 15, NBC 7 Responds asked the city again for cost estimates to ratepayers.

Two weeks later, on February 1, city spokesperson Arian Collins again stated the city does not have any estimates on the monthly costs for ratepayers, writing in part: “With so many variables, there is no simple calculation that could be performed to determine cost per customer.”

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