Early next year, San Diego will finish a landmark pilot project meant to prove to health regulators that the city can safely recycle sewage by purifying it into drinking water. Then a major question awaits: What next?
A two-year city study, due to be presented to a City Council committee Wednesday, answers that question and other big unknowns, like how much it would cost to recycle sewage, where purification facilities should be built and how much sewage could be diverted from a major treatment plant in Point Loma.
The blueprint sets a goal for San Diego to recycle 100 million gallons of sewage daily in coming decades, saying its cost would be comparable to increasingly expensive — and volatile — imported water supplies. That would represent roughly 20 percent of the region’s supply.