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San Diego Awards Contract For Water Recyling Demonstration Project

San Diego City Council will vote this evening on a $3 million contract to manage a water recycling demonstration project.

City residents' water rates went up a year ago, and part of that increase is now being put to use to get the demonstration project up and running. RMC Water and Environment is one of three contractors being considered for the job of project management.

Marcie Steirer of the Water Department says the demonstration project should begin operating next year.

She says the focus this year is on working with regulators and educating the public about using recycled water as part of the drinking water supply.

"Public opinion has changed" she says. "In 2004, 10 percent strongly favored that, and in 2009 that changed to 35 percent.”

Steirer says the water from the demonstration project will be added to the existing recycled water system that’s used for landscaping, not to the city’s drinking water supply.

But the ultimate goal is to use recycled water to supplement the San Vicente reservoir. Orange County already integrates recycled water into its potable water supplies.

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