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Morro Bay unveils new Water Resources Center, opens it to public tours

The City of Morro Bay Water Resources Center.
Photo by Amanda Wernik
The City of Morro Bay Water Resources Center.

The City of Morro Bay opened its new Water Resources Center at an unveiling event today. The facility will be one of Morro Bay's main water sources and is now open for public tours.

"Today, we are proud to announce that the Water Resource Center is complete and operational ahead of schedule of the time schedule orders handed down by the state for March 2023," Morro Bay City Manager Scott Collins said at the Thursday event.

The center removes contaminants from wastewater to recycle it into purified water. This water will be used as a future groundwater replenishment and a drought buffer for the Morro Bay community.

According to Collins, the new facility will be capable of producing 1 million gallons per day of potable, or drinking, water.

City Public Works director Greg Kwolek said this will help ensure the long-term sustainability of Morro Bay’s water infrastructure.

“In using the treated wastewater, injecting it into the ground and then pulling it back up as potable water, we create a new water supply that's local," Kwolek said. "And we ensure resiliency in our water supply.”

Local officials cut the ribbon at the unveiling of Morro Bay's new water reclamation facility.
Amanda Wernik
Local officials cut the ribbon at the unveiling of Morro Bay's new water reclamation facility.

The new facility was built inland to avoid coastal hazards. The city says this is especially important after the January 9 storms caused massive surf and flooding.

The completion of the Water Resources Center is a project that former City Councilmember Christine Johnson has been waiting to see for over a decade.

“I brought my son with me because he's 17, and when we started this project, he was seven," Johnson said.

"It's really great for him to see a municipal project of this magnitude from start to finish," Johnson added. "It's inspiring, and I'm very grateful that we as a community were able to pull together and to have this moment of celebration.”

The new wastewater treatment plant is part of the City of Morro Bay’s “Our Water” program. It’s located at 595 Harbor Street.

You can learn more at morrobaywrf.com.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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