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City awarded $9.7-million grant for recycled water distribution system 

water jpgCity has already started constructing a large segment of the recycled water distribution system

– The City of Paso Robles has received a $9.73 million grant from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to construct its recycled water distribution system project. The grant, which was awarded by the State Water Resources Control Board, will be used in combination with a low-interest loan.

The project will include the construction of a major pump station at the city’s wastewater treatment plant near the Salinas River, a 4.5-mile large diameter water pipeline across the northern part of the city, and a 900,000-gallon concrete tank at the eastern edge of city limits, near Barney Schwartz Park. This infrastructure will enable the city to deliver over 3,000 acre-feet per year of high-quality recycled water to the city’s east side for irrigation of parks, golf courses, vineyards, and common area landscaping in new housing developments.

“This recycled water infrastructure is very important for the future of Paso Robles. Recycled water will further diversify the city’s water supplies, help restore balance to our groundwater basin, and support continued economic prosperity,” said the city’s new Recycled Water Manager Matt Thompson.

The city aims to have the project ready for bidding and start of construction by the end of 2023. The recycled water will be sold to those who use it for irrigation, and the revenue generated will be used to pay back the construction loan and expenses for operation and maintenance. The price of recycled water will be driven by the cost of the recycled water infrastructure.

“This project represents the first significant source of supplemental water that irrigators can use to reduce their reliance on groundwater and allow us to move forward aggressively to bring the Paso Basin into a sustainable condition,” said San Luis Obispo County Director of Groundwater Sustainability Blaine Reely.

The city has already started constructing a large segment of the Recycled Water Distribution System. The Paso Robles City Council awarded a $3.66 million contract to Mountain Cascade of Livermore on Feb. 21 for the construction of a 1,900-foot-long segment of pipeline under the Salinas River and up a steep hillside on the east side of the river. This segment will be completed by late spring 2024. The construction of the Salinas River Segment was made possible by an additional $3.5 million grant awarded to the city in 2022 by the California Department of Water Resources, with assistance from the County of San Luis Obispo’s Groundwater Sustainability Office.

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