City of Paso Robles moving toward recycled water

Apr 17, 2014

Pam Ouellette with the City of San Luis Obispo runs her hand through recycled water at the end of the process.
Credit Randol White, KCBX News

The City of Paso Robles is moving forward with plans to create a recycled water system with approval this week from the city council of $795,000 for the first step in the process.

The system, when complete, will send water through a "purple pipe" system to the city's big irrigation users like parks, golf courses, and even vineyards.

The recycled water delivery would be similar to what the City of San Luis Obispo already has in place. Several parks and the municipal golf course are irrigated with water that's been treated at the facility off of Prado Road.

Matt Thompson is the Waste Water Resource Manager for the city and says diverting potable water from uses like these can play a part in helping to solve the area's groundwater crisis.

"The goal of recycled water is to reduce the city's long-term dependence on groundwater pumped from deep Paso Robles groundwater basin," said Thompson. "Even with the new Nacimiento water supply, the city will have to rely on some groundwater, and so recycled water would basically reduce how much groundwater must be pumped."

Thompson says there are a couple of large vineyards that have already expressed interest in using the recycled water, including J Lohr and Vina Robles.