Wastewater project could save city millions

A planned water recycling project in Benica, California could end the city's need to buy in potable water.

A feasibility study is underway to assess a proposal for a sewage water recycling project at the Benicia wastewater treatment plant that would recycle about 2,600 Ml of water a year. Most of the recycled water would go to the Valero Refinery in Benicia which consumes half of the city's water demand.

This would free up potable water for public use. The project would increase annual potable water to residents and businesses and create a surplus that could be stored in Lake Berryessa.

"We then won't need to buy water," said public works director, Graham Wadsworth. "It would create a savings account and help us save water and money during the drought, when buying water gets more expensive." In 2014, the city had to buy water from Vacaville at a total cost of US$ 900,000.

Following the feasibility study, the city would discuss cost allocations with Valero and decide if the project will progress, Wadsworth said.

Wadsworth said detailed costs were as yet unavailable but according to a 2009 estimate the project will cost US$ 16 million to $27 million.

Constructions would begin in 2018 if all goes according to plan Wadsworth said.

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