The following is a press release issued by the City of Fort Bragg:
The City of Fort Bragg’s Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System ordered six months ago to provide drinking water during periods of salt water intrusion at its main Noyo River source is finally here. The skid mounted unit can produce 200 gallons a minute of desalinated water, or 288,000 gallons per day. Because the equipment can only run 12 hours a day, the daily capacity tops out at 144,000 gallons.
The $325,000 desalination unit was delivered last Saturday and start-up testing is already underway, with the operation expected to be running at or near capacity in the coming days. While the city relies on three surface water sources for its customers, the Noyo River is the largest, and the drought had reduced flows to such a degree that Fort Bragg’s water system and its 2,920 customer connections would soon have to race to take innovative steps to overcome the realities brought on by the drought.
“Due to the dire water shortages facing our water customers, the city’s water system is using technology and innovation to help us through this drought,” said John Smith, Director of Public Works. “The support and technical guidance from the State Water Board has helped take this from idea to reality in a matter of months.”
With its commitment to help struggling public water systems meet the needs of its customers during and after the current drought, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is funding 100% of Fort Bragg’s grant request of $691,796, including money for a shallow groundwater well treatment system that can produce 57,000 gallons a day. This system will be installed at an existing shallow groundwater well at Redwood Elementary School.
“A drastic drought like the one gripping California requires us to be as responsive as possible to meet the needs of water systems trying to do the right thing for their customers,” said Joe Karkoski, deputy director of the State Water Board’s Division of Financial Assistance. “Fort Bragg came to us with a creative solution and our team worked with them to address the challenges and make it happen as quickly as possible.”
While government action is often objected for its deliberate pace, the timeline for this project underscores the kind of efficiency and cooperation needed during a drought emergency, with the State Water Board’s Division of Financial Assistance accelerating approval of the funding through its Emergency Drinking Water Program.
The City would like to thank the State Water Resources Control Board for making this project possible by providing funding assistance and to our entire community for helping us weather this drought. Thank you so much for all you are doing. Please continue water conservation practices.