Valley Water hopes a wastewater purification expansion plan can lift Santa Clara County out of drought

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – Could sewage be the solution to our drought problems?

Valley Water thinks so and they are doubling down by expanding their advanced water purification center in North San Jose and planning to build a new plant in Los Atos to produce millions of gallons of purified drinking water.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, Valley Water is a technology for pulling the county out of drought.

RELATED: California Drought: State Residents Did Not Dramatically Cut Water Use In July

“I don’t even want to imagine what dire circumstances might look like if we continue years after years in a drought,” said Rick Callender, CEO of Valley Water. “I don’t even know what conservation would look like or what would happen if we couldn’t create our own water supply.”

For an age-old problem like a drought, Valley Water is working on a next-generation solution.

By 2028, Valley Water’s plan is to produce 10 million gallons of purified drinking water per day from wastewater. It sounds crazy, but they say it can be a game-changer.

In case you were wondering, it’s also safe and it’s pretty good.

Valley Water will join Monterey and Orange counties, Australia and Singapore to use this method of water purification and groundwater replenishment.

The process passes water through the stages of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light to create potable water.

The North San Jose plant filters 8 to 10 million gallons of water per day.

RELATED: California Reservoir Levels Hit All-Time Highs Since 1977, State Says

With the expansion project slated for completion by 2028, Valley Water’s short-term goal is to produce an additional 10 million gallons that will help replenish aquifers and allow the county to stop outsourcing so much water. .

“Right now we import over 55% of our water,” said Valley Water Board Chairman Tony Estremera. “Having to depend on importing water is getting a bit stricter and more dangerous. What we need is a greater guarantee of resilience and that is what it gives us.

Relying less on outsourcing will help reduce the cost of water.

Purified water will help meet more than 10% of current demand by 2028 and Valley Water believes that could potentially lift Santa Clara County out of drought.

RELATED: 8 Easy Ways To Save Water As California Faces Worst Drought In Decades

“It’s important,” Callender said. “If we want to get out of this drought, if we want to fight climate change, we have to go in that direction. We have to make sure that we create additional advanced purified water.”

Construction of the purified water project is expected to begin in 2024.

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