As Mendocino County navigates a record-setting drought, the City of Fort Bragg held a blue-ribbon ceremony officially bringing online an Aquaclear Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System that will bolster the city’s freshwater stock and relieve water shortages.
Public Works Director John Smith stood in front of a gathering of approximately 25-30 Fort Bragg leaders and residents thanking the Water Board for the grants and emergency funds that made the installation of the system possible and the water operators who worked long hours to install the system. He also expressed appreciation for the Fort Bragg City Council who fiscally supported the efforts to install the system.
Smith said the treatment system will allow the city to continue treating water through high tide periods when the Noyo River becomes brackish. In the past, “we would just shut off our system during those times, now we can just continue to process water.”
Heath Daniels, the City’s Operations Manager, said to the crowd the plant will turn Summer’s Lane Reservoir into a drought management reservoir.
City Councilman Lindy Peters told us the plant will “provide up to 144,000 gallons of additional water capacity to the City water system.”
Reflecting on the day’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Councilman Peters said, “It was my pleasure to cut the ribbon and push the start button today.”
He described first advocating for a desalination plant back in 1992 and “thanks to City Manager Tabatha Miller, Public Works Director John Smith, the City Council and the entire City staff (especially the Public Works crew) for making this finally happen.”
“We now should make it through the drought safely with enough water to supply our needs,” Councilman Peters said.