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Oceanside has finished in the top six of the Mayor's Challenge the past three years. File photo
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State funds expand city water reuse projects

OCEANSIDE — The city received $4.565 million in state grant funding to expand its water reuse efforts, with most of the funds going toward its Pure Water Oceanside Project.

The city received the money from the Department of Water Resources through the state’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program. The program supports water reuse programs like Oceanside’s to increase the state’s water sustainability.

The money will be used to fund Pure Water Oceanside and the city’s expanding recycled water infrastructure, two projects that were created by city staff after Council previously set a goal of a 50% local water supply by 2030.

City Council previously set a goal of a 50% local water supply by 2030.

Of the $4.565 million, approximately $3.115 million of it is going to the Pure Water Oceanside project, which will purify recycled water to provide a new, local source for drinking water. It will be the first operating advanced water purification facility in San Diego County.

According to Water Utilities Director Cari Dale, Pure Water Oceanside is projected to cost $84.2 million. The $3.115 million is the first grant awarded to the city for the project.

Dale said the city also applied for $13 million from the Bureau of Reclamation. She said the city should hear back about that money in the fall.

“In general we’re very aggressive in going after grants,” Dale said.

Construction for the Pure Water Oceanside project broke ground in February.  It will be completed in 2021.

The remaining $1.45 million will go toward expanding the city’s water infrastructure. Right now the city has 1.2 miles of recycled water pipeline that transports 70 million gallons of water to the Oceanside Municipal Golf Course, Goat Hill Golf Course and El Corazon’s Sports Complex.

The expansion will add seven miles of pipeline to that system, thus enabling the city to supply more customers with recycled water. Those customers can include golf courses, HOAs, city parks, and industrial and agricultural customers.

According to Dale, pipelines will be built from the San Luis Rey plant east down North River Road, south along Douglas Drive and under the San Luis Rey River, and continuing south down El Camino Real to the Fire Mountain area.

The recycled water project is part of a $2.8 million grant collaboration between Oceanside, Olivenhain Municipal Water District and San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, with $1.45 million going to Oceanside. Each agency will add recycled water infrastructure to offset drinking water demand.

The water reuse projects will increase local supplies to 33% by 2023 and 56% by 2030, according to city staff.

Dale added that the city has also been awarded nearly $700,000 in grants to protect the Buena Vista Creek and Loma Alta wetlands.