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Recycled water project in Paso Robles to address groundwater issues

Recycled Water Distribution System
Posted at 3:21 PM, Oct 19, 2023

Already three months into their three-year Recycled Water Distribution System Project, the City of Paso Robles is nearly complete with the first phase of a 4.5-mile pipeline called the "Salinas River Segment."

This segment is built upon a hilltop along North River Rd.

Construction Inspector Matthew Natividad notes how this project differs from most others he's come across in his two decades of experience.

“It’s not difficult, it’s just complex and it’s unique. As you can see, the pipe is being installed on a hillside. It’s over 30 percent slope," Natividad said.

Recycled Water Manager for the City of Paso Robles, Matt Thompson, said this project has been in talks since 2014.

"The city has had a master plan to build a recycled water system to provide an alternate supply of irrigation water," Thompson said.

This master plan arose from a need to address Paso Robles' groundwater problem.

"We have a problem with declining groundwater levels, especially on the east side of the city, so too much water is being pumped out of the ground,” Thompson said.

They had an unused supply of recycled water, however, which could help irrigate various facilities around the city.

"This recycled water will provide irrigation water for new development so all the new development that’s planned in the city, all the common area that’s planned in the city — parking strips, pocket parks, trailways," Thompson said.

With recycled water as a backup water source, Paso Robles can avoid stressing its groundwater sources during times of intense heat or drought.

"One of the hallmarks of climate change is that we’re gonna have more droughts in the future, so this project is gonna help Paso Robles be more resilient for future droughts," Thompson said.

Construction on the Salinas River Segment is set to be completed in November 2023, while the Recycled Water Distribution System is predicted to be complete in 2026.

In the meantime, expect traffic delays and potential road closures along North River Road on weekdays while construction is in progress.