By Suzanne Evans
Citing a scant 6 inches of rain over the last year exacerbating the city’s water shortage crisis and skyrocketing prices, Public Utilities Department representatives Hooman Partow, senior civil engineer, and Mehdi Khalili, engineer, updated the Del Mar Mesa Community Planning board Sept. 12 on San Diego’s Water Purification Project.
According to the city’s web site, in 2009, “the City of San Diego embarked on a demonstration project to examine the use of advanced water purification technology to provide safe and reliable water for San Diego’s future. The Water Purification Demonstration Project’s (PDF) objective is to evaluate the feasibility of using advanced treatment technology to produce water that can be sent to San Vicente Reservoir and later distributed as potable water.”
“Challenges in the water supply are limited local supplies and the cost of imported water. The Carlsbad (desalination) project, though approved, is not enough,” Partow said.
The engineers said that at the Water Purification Demonstration Project in San Diego’s North City Water Reclamation Plant, recycled water is filtered pure, using micro filtration: plastic tubes which filter out contaminants.
Reverse osmosis units screen salts and solids, preserving about four-fifths of the recycled water. Only very small amounts of disinfectants, pharmaceuticals, and other elements remain.
“Water really is pure at this point; it meets all federal and state drinking water standards,” Partow said. “Overall, the water quality is exceptional, like distilled water. Purified water delivered to the San Vicente Reservoir is comparable to that of imported water.”
“It would cost $2,000 per acre foot to produce and convey perfected water to San Vicente Reservoir,” Partow said, noting a need to evaluate the feasibility of using advanced treatment technology to produce water that can be sent to San Vicente Reservoir and later distributed as potable water.
“We would like to scale up the feasibility of the research project. The state has to write regulations for us to move forward,” planning board chair Gary Levitt said.
Register online for a free public tour of a water purification demonstration project. Visit www.purewatersd.org or call (619) 533-7572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.