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San Diego to recycle sewage into drinking water


The Pure Water project is expected to break ground next year and ultimately generate a third of San Diego’s drinking water by 2035.

Federal and state water-quality regulators have cleared the way for the city of San Diego to avoid costly upgrades to an outdated wastewater treatment plant, as long as local officials continue to pursue a $3 billion water recycling program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved on Monday the city’s permit application to operate the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant for another five years despite it being the only facility of its kind not to meet federal clean water standards.

The so-called permit waiver is part of a longstanding deal between city officials, regulators and members of the environmental community aimed at freeing up money to pay for a water recycling program, known as Pure Water San Diego.

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