Press Release

Local Agencies Partner to Develop Major New Recycled Water Project in Sacramento
Will Replace Use of Valuable Drinking Water for Cogeneration Cooling Towers

Sacramento, CA – Under a unique local collaboration, hundreds of millions of gallons of drinking water will be preserved annually — replaced with recycled water at a local power cogeneration facility and nearby landscape irrigation areas in South Sacramento. The project, sponsored by Regional San in collaboration with the Sacramento Power Authority (SPA) and the City of Sacramento, will initially deliver recycled water via a six-mile pipeline from the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant’s water recycling facility in Elk Grove to a SPA cogeneration facility near Franklin Blvd. and 47th Avenue.

Initially, the recycled water will be used at the cogeneration plant’s cooling towers instead of drinking water. However, the recycled water pipeline will be sized to serve the non-potable water demands of several nearby users, such as landscape at parks, schools, street-medians, commercial sites and golf courses through future expansion projects. Regional San recently issued the draft environmental impact report for the project, a critical step in moving the project forward.

“The project to serve the SPA cogeneration facility is exciting because of its ability to replace a significant volume of drinking water with recycled water in one project, at one location, and on a year-round basis — unlike recycled water for irrigation, which is typically seasonal. It also sets the foundation to allow for future expansion of the recycled water system in a phased approach,” explained Prabhakar Somavarapu, Regional San’s District Engineer.

The project is currently moving through design, permitting, and regulatory processes. Design of the pipeline system is planned to be completed in spring 2015, with start of construction in summer 2015, and recycled water deliveries beginning in summer 2016.

“We’re pleased to support the project proposal and look forward to continuing to work with Regional San on reducing the the region’s dependence on potable water supplies,” said Scott Flake, SMUD’s director of Power Generation & Project Development.

The preliminary cost estimate for constructing the recycled water piping system is $15.2 million. Funding to date has included a feasibility study grant of $40,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and about $3.6 million in State of California grants. The remainder of the project will be funded by Regional San.

“The current drought has made us all more focused on seeking new and creative ways to conserve our water resources,” noted Sacramento City Council Member Steve Cohn. “This project has the potential to achieve multiple ways to do that, and make a large contribution to our region’s water recycling portfolio.”

The Draft EIR is available for viewing at  The comment period ends on August 27, 2014.                                          

# # #

Claudia Goss, Public Affairs Manager
Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
(916) 876-6058 (Office)
(916) 599-2417 (Cell)