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Sweetwater Authority (Authority) is expanding the existing Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility (Desal Facility) to add five million gallons per day (MGD) of production capacity.

The project includes the drilling of five new brackish groundwater wells, then connecting the wells to 19,700 feet of newly trenched pipeline to convey the new groundwater supply to the Desal Facility for treatment. The project also includes upgrades at the Desal Facility to the reverse osmosis system, and a new iron and manganese treatment system, among other system upgrades. Please see the Desal Facility Expansion Fact Sheet [PDF] for more information.

The cost of the project is approximately $42 million with 75 percent, or $31.5 million, funded by the State of California Prop 50 and Prop 84 grants, and the US Bureau of Reclamation.  The City of San Diego is a partner with the Authority on this project and each agency will share 12.5 percent, or $5.3 million each, of the remaining costs and share equally in the anticipated new production of groundwater.   


There are three contractors working on this project. A summary is as follows:

Pipeline: CCL Construction has completed installation of all pipelines and paving so this portion of the project is complete. Note that the pipelines installed to convey brackish groundwater to the existing Desal Facility were “purple pipe”, which normally means conveying recycled water. However, the Authority did not want to have the contractor use the normal or standard “blue pipe” that conveys potable water so purple pipe was used to avoid any confusion in the future between potable and non-potable pipelines located in the streets where these pipelines are installed. There are no recycled water pipelines within the Authority’s service area.

Well Drilling: Layne Christensen has constructed five new wells all located in the City of Chula Vista. Well drilling at SDF No. 7 (Second Ave. north of C St.), No. 8 (Fifth Ave. and C St.), No. 9 (Fourth Ave., north of Parkway), No. 10 (Second Ave., north of H St.) and No. 11 (at the Chula Vista Main Library) is totally complete.

Desal Facility Expansion: Filanc Construction will construct the buildings for each of the five new wells in addition to equipping them with pumps and motors. Construction of the well buildings at SDF No. 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will be complete in May 2017. At the Desal Facility, Filanc has completed construction and testing of the facility will begin on March 27. It is anticipated that potable water will be pumped into the distribution system during the first half of May 2017.

If you would like more information on the project, please call Michael Garrod at 619-409-6752.

Current Construction Zone:

Aerial view of Desal Expansion Construction Zone June 2016



Last updated: 3/22/2017 11:10:45 AM