New San Francisco wastewater reuse project relocated

San Francisco’s Westside Recycled Water Project, which will reuse up to 4 MGD (15,140 m³/d) of secondary effluent, will no longer be built in the city’s historic Golden Gate Park.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department announced on 28 February 2012 that the location had been moved to a space at the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Plant and a portion of the nearby California Army National Guard Armory.

The move will restart the public engagement and environmental review process for San Francisco’s first treatment plant to recycle water for irrigation and other non-drinking purposes. The new facility will include membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light disinfection.

The PUC originally proposed a site at the western edge of Golden Gate Park because of its proximity to existing infrastructure and the park itself, which would be a major consumer of recycled water for irrigation purposes. Through a series of public meetings, the community expressed concerns over this proposed location.

Staff began the search for viable alternatives and eventually identified the new option, which did not become viable until a tentative agreement was reached with the California Army National Guard.

“Diversifying our local water sources with recycled water is a critical part of our long-term water supply plan,” said PUC general manager Ed Harrington. “The challenge for this project was choosing a treatment location that was acceptable not only from a feasibility standpoint, but also from the viewpoint of local stakeholders. This solution accomplishes both of these goals.”