Water & Drought

Recycling program will boost South County’s drinking water — and it has a new name

Pismo Beach, California, was named one of the best small coastal towns in American by USA Today.
Pismo Beach, California, was named one of the best small coastal towns in American by USA Today. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Pismo Beach’s long-anticipated recycled water project is going by a new name these days: Central Coast Blue.

While the new moniker is admittedly less of a mouthful than its previous name — the Regional Groundwater Sustainability Project — Pismo Beach Public Works Director Ben Fine said the rebranding also recognizes “the value water has in the distinct character of the Central Coast community.”

Fine unveiled the new name at the Pismo Beach City Council meeting Tuesday.

“Our communities are taking a proactive and responsible approach to water management, leading a regional vision and effort that recognizes our community, water and future as one,” Fine said. “This effort acknowledges the value we place on water in the Central Coast, and connects our community in closing the water gap.”

The Central Coast Blue project is a unified effort between multiple agencies, including Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District and the Oceano Community Services District.

Once completed, it will treat wastewater to be re-injected back into the groundwater basin; this will give an additional source of drinking water to residents in the South County, as well as help prevent seawater intrusion into the Santa Maria groundwater basin.

It is expected to increase municipal groundwater supplies by 60 percent and reduce the amount of treated wastewater discharged into the ocean by 77 percent.

According to a news release, the unveiling is the first in a string of upcoming program milestones, including the opening of a public advanced treatment demonstration facility this spring, development of a groundwater model, construction of a test injection well, completion of the environmental impact report and securing national and state funding support.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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