On August 18, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the award of $9.3 million to the City of Morro Bay for its Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project. This federal funding is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $1 billion to the Department of the Interior for its WaterSMART Water Recycling and Reuse grants program.

“We are grateful to receive this $9.3 million grant funding as we complete construction of key components of the City’s largest-ever infrastructure project,” said City Manager Scott Collins. “Receiving this additional federal funding for the WRF was a team effort by the Mayor, City Council, City staff, project team and Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Alex Padilla and Congressmember Salud Carbajal that will help bring an additional water source to our community at a critical time.  It’s a huge win for our community!”

The $9.3 million will be used for the reclamation components of the WRF Program, which includes recycled water elements, a recycled water storage tank and pump station at the WRF, recycled water pipeline and the purified water injection wells and distribution line. The City received its full funding request from the Department of Interior.

According to the Department of the Interior, the 25 projects selected nationwide will advance drought resilience and are expected to increase annual capacity by about 213,000 acre-feet of water, enough water to support more than 850,000 people a year. Funding was appropriated for the planning, design and construction of water reuse projects around the country.

About the Water Reclamation Facility

The City of Morro Bay Water Reclamation Facility Program involves replacing the City’s existing wastewater treatment plant with an advanced water purification facility that will meet state regulations and protect the environment. The project will be capable of creating a drought buffer in the future.

The project includes construction of a new one million gallon per day advanced treatment facility, two new lift stations, an approximately 3.5-mile pipeline alignment, and wells to inject the purified water into the groundwater aquifer, which can be extracted for reuse through the City’s existing infrastructure.  Construction for the treatment facility and 3.5 mile pipeline is expected to be completed in early 2023, with the construction of the injection wells beginning in early 2024 and completed in 2025.