Construction of desalination plant in Carlsbad to begin

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Desalinated water will soon be flowing through the faucets in San Diego County homes.

A new plant with a price tag of $1 billion is being built on the banks of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad. When completed, the facility will convert seawater into 50 million gallons of high-quality drinking water every day. That will meet about 7 to 10 percent of San Diego County's water needs.

Some are calling it the largest reservoir right at our doorstep, but it will come with an added cost to your monthly water bill.

"We desperately need new sources of water and this will be one that we can always count on. It's not dependent upon snow pack and rainfall," said Peter MacLaggan of Poseidon Resources.

The foundation has been set and construction is now under way on the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

"It's a huge step forward in securing a drought proof supply for San Diego County from the Pacific Ocean." said MacLaggan, who also told 10News about 2,500 construction workers will build it, and when it opens, another 400 people will work at the plant.

"It will be comparable to that of the bottled water in the store," MacLaggan added.

The water will be filtered three times before going through reverse osmosis technology patented in the county. That final step will remove all the salt from the water.

"It will provide a local stable source of water for many decades to come so initially it's going to cost more as a local supply," said Tom Wornham of the San Diego County Water Authority.

Wornham told 10News customers will see a $5 to $8 increase in their monthly bill initially, but said that fee will go down over time.

The desalination plant will be the largest in North America.

San Diegans will start getting fresh water from the facility when it goes online in early 2016.


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