Toilet to Tap: Wastewater Purification Plant Now Supplying Drinking Water to Oceanside

The same sort of project is being planned for East County and San Diego city

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An Oceanside water purification facility made history on Tuesday as what is being celebrated as San Diego County’s first wastewater treatment plant to go online.

A grand opening was held for Pure Water Oceanside, which turns wastewater into clean drinking water using state-of-the-art technology. By pumping the recycled water into pipes and purifying it, the treatment plant makes it safe for residents to consume and use it.

Pure Water Oceanside turns sewage water into clean drinking water and puts it back into the community, reports NBC 7's Joe Little.

The $70 million project took 10 years of planning and construction before going online. And although it’s the first of its kind in the county, the City of Oceanside’s Water Utilities Director said this technology has been around for some time already.

“It’s been used all over the world and very close to us here, in Orange County,” Cari Dale, said. “It’s been used for over a decade.”

The director added that anyone who has had water at Disneyland has already tried a similar water supply.

Once the clean water leaves the facility, it will be injected into the Mission Basin. There, it’ll stay for up to six months before being drawn out from the aquifer and treated again at the city's Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility. Following that procedure, the water will be ready for distribution.

Dale said the new treatment plant will eventually create 3 to 5 million gallons per day of local drinking water and could reduce Oceanside’s reliance on imported water by an estimated 20%. If all goes according to plan, the clean water could be ready for residents by this summer.

The same sort of project is being planned for East County and San Diego city -- the East County Advanced Water Purification Program and Pure Water San Diego, respectively.

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program plans to provide residents with 30% of its local water supply by 2025. Officials will vote on advancing the construction phase of the project on May 19. The plan would produce 11.5 million gallons of water a day.

The Pure Water San Diego program will be able to output 30 million gallons a day by 2025 and an additional 53 million gallons a day by 2035.

For more information on Pure Water Oceanside, click here.

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