On Aug. 10, the Cayucos Sanitary District in California broke ground on a new wastewater treatment plant. The $25 million project is expected to be finished by the summer of 2020, and will use both a membrane bioreactor and ultraviolet light to treat 340,000 gal of sewage per day, as reported by the San Luis Tribune.
The plant is being built on land purchased from Chevron Corp., and funded by a $2.8 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and a $22 million long-term low-interest loan. Recycled wastewater will be used for onsite irrigation and fire protection, while excess water discharge will be sent into the ocean temporarily until offsite uses and potable reuse plans are established.
The decision for Cayucos to build their own wastewater treatment plant was a result of a split with the Morro Bay, which the town previously collaborated with for wastewater treatment. The split occurred in 2015 when the Cayucos Sanitary District argued that Morro Bay was not providing Cayucos sufficient ownership share of a newly planned wastewater treatment plant. The plant that will replace Morro Bay’s treatment plant is under further controversy for potentially building on tribal burial grounds.