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Morro Bay is building a facility to provide a dependable water source amid prolonged drought

The City of Morro Bay is building a Water Reclamation Facility, which will be their largest development project ever. The city plans for it to provide a dependable water source for the residents and businesses of Morro Bay, and says it could provide up to 80 percent of the city's water needs someday.

“If you drive around you’ll see all the crews working really hard. Our goal is to have this wrapped up by the end of this calendar year,” said City Manager Scott Collins. He told KCBX the city is starting to build their fourth and final pipeline for the facility.

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A map of the project's construction and road closures as of Monday, June 20.

“A lot of cities are going in this direction now and it's good timing with the prolonged drought we’re all experiencing.”

The WRF program plans to replace the City’s existing wastewater treatment plant with a more advanced, water purification facility. Collins says it would essentially offset the timing of drought impact and create a main source of drinking water for the city in 2025.

“You don't want to become too reliant on one particular thing, especially water. So we think it's a good investment. It is expensive for sure, but it's a good investment for the long-term,” said Collins.

These plans are a long time coming. The city received their permits in 2019 and federal funding in 2020 to finally allow them to begin construction in 2021. Now it’s time for the next step. Collins says they have to build the final pipeline, and make sure everything is running smoothly. If the water isn’t clean, or doesn’t meet state and federal standards by March 2023, the City will face significant fines by the regional water quality control board.

The City says construction is ongoing down Quintana Road between Main Street and Kennedy Way, and access for businesses, residences, and pedestrians will continue.

Work is scheduled from 7 am to 5:30 pm every weekday and this stage of the project is expected to take roughly eight weeks.

Current construction areas and road closures are available here.

Gabriela Fernandez is a general assignment reporter at KCBX News. She studied political science at Sac State, interned at CapRadio and then worked as an associate podcast producer at CapRadio working on the TahoeLand podcast.
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