California American Water is getting its first major, new source of water in decades and it’s recycled water. Cal Am is under orders from the State Water Resources Control Board to significantly reduce pumping water from the Carmel River. The facility that will bring recycled water to the Monterey area, Pure Water Monterey, held a ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the start-up phase.
Those attending the ribbon cutting were met with three dozen, sign-holding demonstrators who lined the entrance to the Monterey Regional Waste Management District. The protestors support Pure Water Monterey, and see it as an alternative to the proposed Cal Am desalination plant in Marina.
The Waste Management District is next to the Pure Water Monterey facility, which is comprised of a huge series of pipes, pumps and filtration stations. The facility takes waste water from agriculture, residents and businesses plus stormwater runoff. Then, it purifies it.
Mike McCullough is with Monterey One Water, a wastewater treatment plant.
“Yeah, we like to call it advance purified recycled water. So, you know, you can drink it, okay. And I just did,” McCullough said.
He points out that it’s the same water system that is used in Orange County. He says it is safe and there are few other options.
“You know, we're just trying to reuse all the water resources that we have locally and we don't have other water supplies coming into the state, from the federal project or the state projects. We have to really capitalize on what we have here,” said McCullough.
After the water is purified, it will be stored in an underground aquifer in Seaside. The state requires that it’s stored for at least 11 months. From there, it will be pumped out by Cal Am and distributed to its customers.
McCullough estimates the water could be coming out of the tap in about a year.
Both Monterey One Water and California American Water support KAZU. Underwriters do not affect our journalism.