San Diego Public Utilities Department Honored with Public Outreach and Education Achievement Award

California Association of Sanitation Agencies recognizes water purification public outreach program

The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) awarded the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department the Public Outreach and Education Achievement Award for its Water Purification Demonstration Project’s public outreach program. The City received the award on January 22 during the 2015 CASA Winter Conference held at the Hilton in Palm Springs.

image002The City’s Demonstration Project confirmed the feasibility of purifying recycled water to supplement local drinking water supplies. The outreach program included presentations, booths at community events, facility tours, informational materials, advertisements and social media. Water agencies from as far away as Japan and Australia have visited the City’s Advanced Water Purification Facility to learn more about how to best communicate about water purification to the public.

Following the Demonstration Project, in November 2014, the City Council unanimously approved the advancement of Pure Water San Diego, the City’s 20-year program to provide a safe, reliable and cost-effective drinking water supply for San Diego through the use of proven water purification technology. An initial 15-million gallon per day water purification facility is planned to be in operation by 2023. The long term goal, producing 83 million gallons of purified water per day (one-third of San Diego’s future drinking water supply), is planned to be reached by 2035.

The CASA Achievement Awards were open to active member agencies and associate member organizations and are designed to recognize exceptional achievements in clean water services, programs and projects. The Achievement Award for Public Outreach and Education recognizes efforts by an agency for development and implementation of programs intended to impact or educate a segment(s) of the local community on issues important to the agency. The submissions were evaluated by a committee composed of last year’s achievement award winners.

For more information about the City’s water purification efforts, visit purewatersd.org. Members of the public are encouraged to tour the City’s Advanced Water Purification Facility, which explains water purification in detail and provides an up-close look at the test facility. To register, visit www.purewatersd.org/tours. If unable to visit the facility, a virtual tour is available online at http://www.youtube.com/purewatersd. For a presentation about the City’s water purification efforts to community, civic or business organizations, visit www.purewatersd.org/presentations or call (619) 533-6638.

The City of San Diego has limited local water supplies and must import an average of 85 percent of its drinking water supply. The Water Purification Demonstration Project determined that purified water can safely augment San Diego’s drinking water supply following advanced water treatment. Implementation of water purification will account for one-third of San Diego’s future water supply by 2035 and will reduce the City’s dependence on imported water, keep up with population growth and combat water supply reliability challenges, including recurring drought conditions.

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