water

Episode 34: Soquel Creek Water District Talks Pure Water Soquel

In late December I had the pleasure of sitting down with Melanie Mow Schumacher and Ron Duncan of the Soquel Creek Water District (SCWD). Melanie is their Special Projects Communication Manager and Ron is the general manager. I was there to discuss Pure Water Soquel, which is a project that aims to recycle water for Soquel Creek Water District customers.

I’ve been hearing about this project for a couple of years now, but the board of directors of the Soquel Creek Water District recently voted to approve the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) for the project and it is now officially moving forward. I had a lot of questions about the project, and what it means for customers of SCWD.

I learned a lot during our conversation. I knew that the aquifers that SCWD draws on are critically overdrafted, but I didn’t know that it is one of only 20-ish groundwater basins out of 500 in the state of California that are designated as such by the State. Being in a state of overdraft is a big problem hereabouts, because it means that salt water is intruding into our fresh water supply, which threatens to make it undrinkable, and that would be very bad business indeed.

The Pure Water Soquel project aims to tackle this overdraft by adding about 30% of the daily consumption of the aquifer back through recycling water. The plan calls for recycled water from the city of Santa Cruz Regional Wastewater Treatmenet Facility to be purified and pumped back down into the aquifer and thus back into the supply. This should push out the seawater and help to make the aquifer sustainable again – which it hasn’t been, for 50 years or more.

It was a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion, and I hope you get as much out of it as did I.

Pure Water Soquel – Project Information Page

Soquel Creek Water District Board Meeting – December 4, 2018 – on YouTube

Seb Frey drinks Recycled Water – on SebFrey.TV

Jack Black Drinks from the Porcelain Springs