County's first desal plant about to get bigger

Posted at 3:03 PM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 18:03:02-04

The Sweetwater Authority is preparing to expand San Diego County's first desalination plant.

The Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility in Chula Vista, the county's first desalination plant, opened in 2000 by producing 4,000,000 gallons of drinking water every day.

Brackish water is pulled from the San Diego Formation aquifer and cleaned in the plant, which is located just north of state Route 54.

Construction will begin at the end of September on an expansion that will allow the plant to desalinate 10,000,000 gallons of groundwater.

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant will be the first seawater desalination plant on the West Coast. However, that desal plant and the one operated by Sweetwater Authority use the same technology to purify the water.

Sweetwater expects to complete its expansion by 2017. Ratepayers and grant funding will cover the cost of the roughly $40 million project.