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On May 17, 2021, Ventura City Council unanimously approved five-year water and wastewater rate increases. Beginning July 1, 2021, the average Ventura household will see a $7.76 increase on their monthly bill with similar increases over the next 5 years.
Over the course of eight public meetings and nearly a year of deliberation, the Water Commission, in partnership with City staff and a third-party financial consultant, underwent an extensive water and wastewater rate study to evaluate the City’s water rate tiers, water shortage rates, wastewater rate structure, and financing options for major projects.
Rate increases will support both daily operation and maintenance of the City’s existing water and wastewater systems, along with approximately 36 planned capital improvement projects, including the long-anticipated State Water Interconnection Project and VenturaWaterPure Program.
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VenturaWaterPure is a potable reuse program that will recover, treat, and reuse water that is currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary.
This program will divert treated water from Ventura’s wastewater treatment facility to a new Advanced Water Purification Facility, where the water will be treated to drinking water standards and then injected into a local groundwater basin for storage, and later extracted and delivered to customers.
Advanced purification involves multiple treatment processes including biofiltration, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, and advanced oxidation. This proven approach, known as potable reuse, is currently used throughout California, other States, and internationally and is regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water.
The VenturaWaterPure Program includes a network of infrastructure designed to recover, treat and reuse water that was previously discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary.
STEP 1. Currently, wastewater from the City of Ventura is sent to the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility where it’s treated and cleaned before being discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. In the future, this water will be sent to a new Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) for reuse.
STEP 2. Using a scientifically proven process, the AWPF will treat water to drinking-water standards, creating a reliable, locally controlled, and high-quality water source.
STEP 3. The purified water will then be injected into a local groundwater basin and later distributed to Ventura Water customers.
The VenturaWaterPure program will allow Ventura to meet legal requirements, improve water quality, and secure a new local source of drinking water that is drought resilient. Program benefits include:
VenturaWaterPure will produce approximately 3,600 AFY of new locally controlled water supply by 2025 and up to 5,400 AFY by 2030.
VenturaWaterPure will use a multi-step advanced water purification process to create a high-quality drinking water product.
Treated wastewater from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility will be sent through ozone and membrane filtration. The water will then be filtered through ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis and disinfected with advanced oxidation and ultraviolet light. This proven approach is currently used throughout California, other States, and internationally and is regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water.
Yes. Potable reuse is regulated using the same rigorous state and federal standards as all other drinking water sources. With advanced water purification, water is treated to a level that exceeds current drinking water standards and is monitored extensively to ensure public health and safety.
In California, the permits for the use of potable reuse are granted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and its nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB). The Division of Drinking Water within the SWRCB sets and oversees the regulations for Drinking Water. These regulations are among the most stringent in the world.
Yes. In 2015, Ventura Water partnered with the Water Research Foundation to develop a potable reuse demonstration facility. The facility tested advanced treatment on a small portion of the City's tertiary-treated effluent, which provided valuable data on the performance of purification technologies and opportunities for public outreach and education.
The Demonstration Facility included a system of multiple barriers (treatment components) and extensive testing designed to prove the concept of potable reuse. The Demonstration Facility met all drinking water standards and allowed the public to understand and gain confidence in potable reuse technologies.
Additionally, Ventura Water has recently partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to host a second VenturaWaterPure Demonstration Facility at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility. The advanced treatment equipment is being loaned to the City of Ventura free-of-cost from the USBR for up to five years. The Demonstration Facility will provide valuable opportunities for water quality testing and community outreach. Samples will be analyzed for common parameters (chlorine, pH, turbidity), biological constituents, viruses, pathogens and more. It is anticipated that the facility will be available for public tours in Winter 2021.
No. Many communities in California and across the nation are implementing advanced water purification systems similar to the VenturaWaterPure Program. Potable reuse is currently being used in Orange County and Los Angeles County. Additionally, water agencies in San Diego, Santa Clara Valley, Monterey, Pismo Beach, Las Virgenes, Carpinteria, and Oxnard are planning to implement potable reuse projects in the upcoming years.
The City of Ventura is required by the Tertiary Treated Flows Consent Decree to begin diverting effluent flows from the Santa Clara River Estuary to beneficial reuse by 2025.
VenturaWaterPure includes several project components including a new advanced treatment facility, an ocean outfall, injection and extraction wells, pipelines, pump stations and more. The total capital costs for the program is estimated at $259 million.