The San Diego City Council has approved borrowing $614 million to begin construction of the city’s innovative recycled drinking water project.
The first phase of Pure Water — scheduled to begin construction in 2019 and open in 2021 — would use proven purification technology to recycle wastewater into 30 million gallons a day of drinking water.
The loan comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will cover 49 percent of the $1.25 billion project. There will be a second reading of the ordinance by the council in two weeks to officially authorize the loan.
“This federal funding is a recognition that our Pure Water Program is cutting edge and a worthy investment for San Diego’s future water independence,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Tuesday. “This is going to be one of the most significant infrastructure projects in city history and will deliver clean, reliable water to our residents for decades to come.”
The new North City Pure Water Facility would be constructed on city-owned land east of Interstate 805 and north of Eastgate Mall.
The second and third phases of Pure Water will build water facilities and pipelines in the central and South Bay areas.
The program will eventually recycle up to 83 million gallons of wastewater per day, replacing increasingly restricted supplies from the Colorado River.
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