Recycled water customers push plant to capacity

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside is looking to rebuild its recycled water treatment plant, after additional recycled water customers have pushed the current plant to “capacity.”

A planned new plant will produce over four times the recycled water than the amount currently produced.

“This puts more water that would otherwise be discharged to the ocean to beneficial use in the community,” Cari Dale, city water utilities director, said.

Oceanside has produced and delivered recycled water to large use irrigation customers for about 20 years. Recycled water is treated at the San Luis Rey plant, which produces 700,000 gallons a day.

The Municipal Golf Course on Douglas Road has received recycled water for irrigation since the plant opened.

Now Goat Hill golf course and SoCal Sports Complex have become customers, thanks to the installation of additional pipeline to transport recycled water.

Recycled water was turned on at Goat Hill on Nov. 23, after an OK from the

County Department of Environmental Health.

Visible differences at Goat Hill are purple sprinkler heads and signage that notifies people the fairways are irrigated with recycled water.

A walkthrough inspection of the sports complex is scheduled this week.

“We anticipate that the sports complex will be receiving recycled water by the first week of December,” Dale said. “It can be turned on after they pass their inspection and the Health Department has given their OK.”

It is estimated that Goat Hill will use about 75,000 gallons a day, and the sports complex will use approximately 108,000 gallons a day.

Future plans are to extend recycled water pipeline to Morro Hills farmers and other high water users.

A replacement plant to produce more recycled water will cost the city $12 million.

The plant will be paid for through developer fees.

“This includes upgrades to the plant to produce 3 million gallons per day, a reservoir and a pump station,” Dale said.

To ensure faster completion, the new plant will be constructed as a design/build project. This allows a single contract for engineering and construction, and results in a cost savings.

The old plant will be decommissioned as the new plant begins operations.

“The project will also necessitate decommissioning of the existing tertiary facilities, start-up testing of the new facility, permitting, and significant coordination with San Luis Rey operations as well as distribution operations,” Dale said.

Through the process no “non-service” period is anticipated.

The benefits of local water source development are many. It reduces dependency on imported water and is not subject to regional rate increases.

“I’m thrilled that the recycled water system is being expanded to provide reliable and drought proof supplies for Oceanside customers,” Dale said. “This is another step, a big one, towards meeting the Council’s goal of 50 percent local water supply development.”

The new plant is expected to be up and running in 2018.

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