Morro Bay’s New Water Reclamation Facility
After the California Coastal Commission denied a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for construction to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant at its existing location in 2013, the City of Morro Bay began planning a new Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). During 2013 and the beginning of 2014, the community defined goals to guide the planning and design process for the new WRF. From 2014 through 2016, the City evaluated many potential locations for the new WRF, before choosing the South Bay Boulevard site near Highway 1, based on detailed technical analysis and broad communitywide input.
The WRF will be owned and operated by the City of Morro Bay, and will serve residents of the City as well as any customers under contract with the City. The project will require wastewater collection system modifications, a new pumping station, a new force main to convey the raw wastewater to the site, advanced water treatment, recycled water storage and pumping facilities, and injection wells for groundwater replenishment. A Draft Facility Master Plan (FMP) has been developed that defines required elements of the treatment process and facility.
The ultimate goal for the WRF is to produce the maximum amount of reclaimed water feasible to supplement the City of Morro Bay’s water supply. Alternatives for recycled water use were evaluated in the Draft Master Water Reclamation Plan. Agricultural irrigation, urban irrigation, and indirect potable reuse projects were determined to be feasible. Preliminary outreach and groundwater modeling indicate that indirect potable reuse via injection of advanced treated wastewater into the Morro Valley aquifer and recovery at the downstream City wells will provide the City with the greatest water supply benefit.