The City of Oceanside’s Water Utilities Department received a Certificate of Recognition from the Water Environment Federation as part of the Utility of the Future Today (UotFT) Program. This national recognition program celebrates the achievements of water utilities that transform from a traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve. Oceanside was recognized in the performance area of Water Reuse, for innovative and forward-thinking practices that are providing sustainable, efficient, and value-added services to the community.
The Utility of the Future concept is being promoted as water systems around the world are transforming operations through innovation and technology. Oceanside’s comprehensive water reuse program includes expanding water recycling and advanced water purification, initiatives that have taken almost a decade of planning efforts.
Oceanside’s innovative, multi-pronged strategy sets a goal of providing a 50% local water supply by 2030. This includes developing the first full-scale indirect potable reuse project in San Diego County, Pure Water Oceanside, which will provide an additional 4.5 million gallons per day (MGD) of local potable water. The water purification process uses state-of-the-art purification steps that replicates and accelerates nature’s natural recycling process, resulting in high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and exceptionally pure. Oceanside is also expanding the recycled water system through a multi-phased capital improvement program that is estimated to make up more than 20% of the City’s water use, adding to the current 1.2 miles of recycled pipeline that distributes nearly 70 million gallons (236 acre feet) per year to golf courses and sports fields.
“The City of Oceanside is proud to be recognized as an innovative and valuable leader in water resource recovery,” said Cari Dale, Water Utilities Director. “Our staff works hard to ensure the City continues to seek innovative approaches to local water supply reliability and maintains a forward-thinking mindset when planning for our community’s future.”
Utility of the Future Today was launched in 2016 by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), The Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WateReuse Association, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is the fifth year of the UotFT program and saw the greatest number of applicants and honorees. The Recognition Program, through the aggregation and sharing of utility advancements and experiences, enables participants across a broad continuum of capacities and capabilities to learn from each other and continually grow and sustain their efforts to be, and continually advance the concept of the Utility of the Future.
Through continuous improvement, stakeholder partnership, and employee engagement, Oceanside’s Water Utilities Department advances its vision to be a leader in sustainable utilities. Developing an innovative water reuse portfolio is just one of the ways that the department is and endeavors to be a Utility of the Future.