Drought hits hard, HTO hits harder
With unprecedented dry conditions across the state, the Governor has ordered the first ever statewide mandatory water rationing of 25%, and with no rain or snow on the horizon, Heal the Ocean continues to push on our biggest issue: the reclamation of waste(d)water supplies for use in the state's parched urban centers.
In our last E-letter we reported that HTO has been working with RMC Water, Los Angeles, on a study paid for by HTO to add specifics on the feasibility of upgrading and expanding the City's recycled water plant. That study proposal has turned out to be a template by which HTO is meeting with all Sanitary and Water districts on the Santa Barbara South Coast to work with them to productively convert waste(d)water to good-quality water to use. It is our dream that all wastewater pipes are turned around from the ocean – to Heal the Ocean this mission is even larger than the Rincon septic-to-sewer project, which took us 15 years to complete.
Here is a progress report on our Waste(d)water Campaign:
- Carpinteria Sanitary District and Carpinteria Valley Water District are in the middle of a Facilities Upgrade Plan for the CSD Wastewater Treatment Plant - and one of their options for a redesign of the plant is for a full upgrade to highly treated recycled water, for groundwater injection;
- Montecito Sanitary District and Montecito Water District has agreed (week of April 11, 2015) to participate in a Dudek study of the Montecito groundwater basin, a study organized and commissioned by HTO. The purpose of the study is to see if groundwater injection is possible, with highly treated recycled water from the MSD plant. HTO is paying for a third of this study, our share generously supplied by HTO Board Member Thomas Dabney;
- HTO has met with Goleta Sanitary District, the Goleta West Sanitary District and the Goleta Water District, to facilitate a meeting of the minds about upgrade to highly treated recycled water for use in the Goleta Valley, with possible groundwater injection as part of the scenario;
- The largest part of HTO’s study with RMC Water is centered on the City of Santa Barbara Recycled Water Plant. Scheduled to be operational later this year, the newly reconstructed plant incorporates Microfiltration, and the volume of recycled water produced is .8 mgd. HTO’s study is focused on cost feasibility of expanding the plant to produce highly treated “gold standard” recycled water. As part of its Regional Water Quality Control Board permit for its Desal Plant, the City is conducting a study with Carollo Engineers to explore alternate water supplies. HTO is coordinating with the City public works, to make sure their study includes everything we want to see in it. And the pieces that are not there, we’ll leave in our RMC study!
To see how good recycled water can be, watch this 90 second video from CBS "60 minutes" (click picture below):