Water Supply

Purple Wharfhead 2 small
Purple pipe signifies recycled water, like this one used to irrigate Islay Park.

Water-Supply-Recycle_TransparentWater that enters the Recovery Facility is just that – water. What better way to source such a valuable necessity than from the water we already have? The treatment process recovers 99% of water that enters the plant – that’s a lot! This recovered water goes on to irrigate landscapes in our community and provide habitat for wildlife in San Luis Obispo Creek, among other uses. This is not only a sustainable, drought-proof source of water, but it also decreases the amount of potable drinking water that would otherwise go to these purposes. Some of the many locations that currently use recycled water include the Damon Garcia Sports Complex, Laguna Golf Course, Laguna Middle School, and French Park.

The City of San Luis Obispo is fortunate to have such a diversified water portfolio that allows the City to draw from multiple sources of water to meet the City’s needs. Below are the main sources of water available to the City from the most heavily to used to the least used:

  1. Lake Nacimiento
  2. Salinas River
  3. Whale Rock Reservoir
  4. Recycled Water
  5. Groundwater

The main sources of water come from Lake Nacimiento, the Salinas River, and Whale Rock Reservoir. A blend of these waters is treated at the City of San Luis Obispo’s Water Treatment Plant, before it is released into the City’s water distribution system. All these waters have different characteristics and even different tastes! The staff that manages the Water Treatment Plant work hard to provide good quality water for the residents of San Luis Obispo.

One of the many objectives of the the Water Resource Recovery Project is to maximize recycled water production to help offset the demand for potable water. It is a drought-proof source of water that has many beneficial uses and the WRRF Project will explore multiple options to find the best ways for the City to use this valuable resource.


SLO WRRF Tour_047
Vegetation in San Luis Obispo Creek.


SLO WRRF Tour_046
The WRRF discharges to San Luis Obispo creek each day to maintain habitat for the flora and fauna that call it home.