The San Diego City Council voted to award a $6.6 million contract to build a demonstration plant that will treat recycled wastewater and turn it into safe drinking water. This historic turn-around for the Council reflects a shift in their and the public’s thinking about recycled water. The Council voted 4 to 2 for the project, with Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and Councilman Carl DeMaio voting ‘no’.
Water treated at the demonstration facility, to be built at North City Water Reclamation Plant, will be added to the city’s graywater system and not be added to the drinking water.
The Union-Tribune reported that council President Ben Hueso declared:
“This is a big deal for us. There used to be enormous opposition to this.”
The U-T reported:
… nearly a dozen speakers representing groups ranging from the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation to the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and the San Diego Building Industry Association came to show their support.
Not one member of the public spoke against the project. OB’s Councilmen Kevin Faulconer had been earlier against such systems, but changed his mind. The U-T stated Faulconer’s change:
“I want to make it clear that I support the pilot project only at this time. I still remain to be convinced that this is a safe source of drinking water for San Diegans, but I will move forward with the pilot project to get those answers today,” Faulconer said.
Here’s the beginning of the U-T report:
By Jen Lebron Kuhney /Union-Tribune / July 28, 2010
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council on Tuesday awarded a $6.6 million contract to build a test facility that will treat wastewater and turn it into safe drinking water. The contract went to global engineering firm Camp Dresser and McKee to design, test and operate the small-scale plant in order to deem whether a similar system should be used on a greater scale.
The council voted 6-2 in support of the project — an ideological shift from discussions over the past two decades about turning wastewater into drinking water.
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