City engineers tell La Jollans about water purification

The city's water purification process is being studied at this plant. Courtesy:

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

La Jollans got a peek at the future of water storage as city engineers clued them in on the Water Purification Demonstration Project aimed at creating a local sustainable water supply.

“We’re studying purifying wastewater to the equivalent of distilled water and using that to augment our local reservoir supplies,” Amy Dorman, senior city civil engineer with the city’s Public Utilities Department said at the Jan. 6 meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association. “One of the key drivers is that we import up to 90 percent of our water and we need to develop new local water supplies.”

Since most of San Diego’s imported water supply comes from Northern California via an aqueduct system and the Colorado River, Dorman noted that puts San Diego in a vulnerable position.

“We are precariously located at the end of the line,” she said. “Any interruption or failure along any of the waterways, and we’d feel the impact on our water supplies.”

The Water Purification Demonstration Project is the second phase of a process to evaluate ways for the city to increase its use of recycled water. Reservoir augmentation has been identified as the preferred option for developing recycled water sources. That would involve using advanced water purification technology on highly treated wastewater, sending the purified wastewater to blend with existing supplies in a reservoir, then treating the blended reservoir water again before distributing it as drinking water.

“Over the next two years, we’ll install 1-million-gallon-a-day wastewater treatment facility that will give us lots of water-quality data,” said Dorman, adding the water purification process employs multi-barriers, including numerous membrane filtration systems up to and including greatly magnified use of ultraviolet rays, to eliminate bacteria or other organic matter in water.

Dorman noted similar water purification filtration systems have been used successfully elsewhere in Orange County and in Virginia on the East Coast.

For more information call (619) 533-7572 or visit

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Posted by Dave Schwab on Jan 9, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “City engineers tell La Jollans about water purification”

  1. THe Big Picture

    It’s about time. The only reason we have not put treated wastewater into rivers to be reused downstream as they do in Riverside, San Bernardino, Pomona, Chino, Anaheim, etc. is we don’t have a porous river like the Santa Ana River. This purified water is so pure it has a Ph of zero that alone will kill any bacteria or virus that might (unlikely) escape treatment. Our water will be softer, so we will need less water to irrigate because of the lower salts, we will need less soap and plumbing fixtures will not get mineral build up so fast. It will have no pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, industrial waste or other pollutants as is likely with our current water supply.

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