ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — As drought conditions persist, the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is working on a new project that will not only help conserve drinking water but also help farmers in the process.
Wastewater is in the process of being treated as part of a major project that started in 2012 called the EchoWater Project. Ten years later, Mike Crooks says it’s in its final stages.
“We will be filtering most of our wastewater flow,” Mike Crooks, the Engineering Section Manager, Regional SAN said.
That filtration will help with a very important water source in the Sacramento area.
“That will improve quality going to the Sacramento River, as this facility does as well, by removing pretty much 99% of the incoming ammonia,” Crooks said.
This is the last bit of construction for the EchoWater project that will eventually lead to the expansion of using recycled water.
“We’re in early design phase right now,” Crooks said. “It will construct a large pump station and conveyance and distribution system, sending our treated water to agricultural properties.”
It’s called the Harvest Water project, and it will allow farmers currently using groundwater to be able to use the recycled water from the treatment facility.
“It just seems like a benefit for everybody,” James Silva, a partner at Silva Brother’s Dairy, said. “The water is getting reused, and it’s really a benefit where you’re not pulling any deep water to grow crops for animals.”
With drought conditions worsening, Silva said it’s been difficult managing a farm over the past few years.
“It’s nerve-racking not having certainty on how you’re going to grow your crop for your animals for the next year,” Silva said.
Silva’s farm is set to receive the treated wastewater in 2025. In the meantime, he said he’s hopeful this will help with conservation efforts.
“Wastewater should be reused, not going down the drain,” Silva said.
The public can start touring the facility next month and collect recycled water from the plant for free.