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Non-City Projects Affecting Half Moon Bay

Recycled Water Project - a Project of the Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside

Please note: this web page is provided by the City of Half Moon Bay to help inform our community about the potential for Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside (SAM) to provide recycled water for irrigation and industrial uses in our area. SAM’s recycled water project is not a City program - this is for information only and may not represent all of the latest updates from SAM. Please see the SAM website for official information about this project.

Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside (SAM), the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) which provides wastewater treatment for Half Moon Bay and other coastside communities, has embarked on a program to produce recycled water (through microfiltration and reverse osmosis processes) at its treatment plant, for irrigation and industrial uses.

Presently, the sole customer for this recycled water is anticipated to be Ocean Colony Partners (OCP) for irrigation of the Half Moon Bay Golf Links site. It’s estimated that OCP would use 300 acre-feet of water per year (nearly 100 million gallons), thus saving that amount of potable water annually for use by other water customers in homes, business, schools, and elsewhere. In the future there are likely to be more customers for recycled water on the coastside. 

The recycled water project is being developed in cooperation with the Coastside County Water District, which provides water to the City of Half Moon Bay and to the unincorporated communities of Princeton, Miramar, and El Granada.

Update - June, 2017
The project has reached the 25-percent design level. SRT Consultants' draft financial plan estimates the recycled water project costs at approximately $5.2 million, with annual maintenance expenses at about $273,000. The next step involves further financial analysis by the recycled water committee and the member agencies. The project must also be presented to the Half Moon Bay City Council for consideration of approval.

March, 2017
The Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside authorized SRT Consultants, the engineering firm producing the initial (25 percent) design for the project, to move forward with an alternative that would use a combination of micro-filtration and reverse osmosis to recycle the water at the SAM treatment plant. See article in the Half Moon Bay Review.

SAM initially issued a recycled water study in 2008, followed by further analysis in 2009 and a 2010 Recycled Water Planning report. Then in 2015 the project was re-started in earnest. SAM distributed an RFP in February, 2016, seeking proposals for the initial (25%) design phase for a recycled water plant. Two consulting firms submitted proposals for this initial work. One of those firms, SRT Consulting, was selected for the work. In September, 2016, the City of Half Moon Bay agreed to provide its share of funding for that design phase, approximately $75,000. As of November, 2016, SRT’s work on the initial design phase is underway. Its final report on the 25% design phase is expected by the end of 2016.

Joint Powers Authority
SAM’s services are provided through a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) agreement with its member agencies. In addition to the City of Half Moon Bay, the JPA includes the Granada Community Services District and the Montara Water and Sanitary District, serving the communities of El Granada, Miramar, Montara, Moss Beach, and Princeton by the Sea.

SAM also provides contract services to clean and maintain the sewer collection system and pump stations for its member agencies. SAM’s treatment plant and administrative offices are located in Half Moon Bay. The organization, formed in 1976, is governed by a six-member Board of Directors comprised of two representatives appointed by each of the three member agencies.

Links for more information and documents:

Why Recycled Water?
Water reuse is becoming more prevalent in California, especially in light of the most recent severe drought experienced throughout the state. Utilizing advanced technologies such as microfiltration, UV treatment, reverse osmosis, and other methods, the water produced is high quality, clean, and suitable for industrial and irrigation use. Every gallon of recycled water produced is one gallon of drinking water saved for other critical uses. As the technology improves and state regulations and guidelines follow suit, the future may bring wider uses of recycled water. For more information about the current and future use of recycled water, please visit