Camarillo Desalination Plant Opens

A small water district in Camarillo has spent 6.5 million dollars to turn salty undrinkable ground water into water you can drink. The Camrosa Water District cut the ribbon today on its new plant.

The plant is like a big reverse osmosis system. The kind of thing you may have under your sink to filter water. In this case, this desalination plant aims to produce one million gallons of fresh clean drinking water every day from water that's too salty to drink.

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Camrosa Water District Operations Manager Robert Barone gave us a tour of the plant.

He showed us where water wiggles through pipes, pressure tanks and filters to get rid of things like iron and manganese. Where the good water flows and the bad, salty water travels to get back to the ocean where, they say, it's safe for marine life.

The official ribbon cutting Friday for this plant capped a project that started 10 years ago when this water district worried about the reliability and cost of water coming from the Sacramento Delta.

With the new plant, the district says it now can supplement its imported water with clean groundwater for its 27,000 customers.

General Manager Tony Stafford says "That's 10% of our drinking water demand that we're offsetting. That's water we do not have to import from the Delta."

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