135 

 

following sections and in the Activity Areas in Part 3 of this application, the WRRF Project and many 
other Utilities programs and projects not only embody the organizational culture of a Utility of the 
Future Today, but also contribute to Community Partnering and Engagement, Energy Efficiency, Energy 
Generation and Recovery, Water Reuse, and Watershed Stewardship.  

Some specific highlights from the WRRF Project that engage in organizational culture and these other 
Activity Areas are described below.  

• One Campus, One Water concept applied to the Water Resource Center. Currently all sections within 
the Department are housed in different buildings and different sites. The new Water Resource Center 
would create One Campus that will house all sections under one roof.  A shared building reinforces that 
everyone contributes to the City’s success and that the City manages One Water system that requires 
everyone to work together.   

• Additionally, the Water Resource Center, will also include a Learning Center, demonstration wetlands, 
inviting public access to engage the community to learn about the City’s water resources and see how 
water is managed through the City’s system, from Lake Nacimiento to the San Luis Obispo Creek. It will 
showcase the City’s plan for future potable reuse plans, as well as invite the public to take tours of the 
upgraded facility to learn more about resource recovery.  

• The new Cooling Wetlands at the facility will reduce the need for mechanical effluent cooling and the 
associated energy consumption, and provide habitat for native flora and fauna. It will also incorporate 
the existing Bob Jones bike trail, which runs along the eastern side of the site, to provide the public with 
an interactive wildlife experience.   

• The project also positions the City for future potable reuse, either indirect or direct. The decision to 
pursue potable reuse has influenced the design of the new facility to incorporate flexibility and increase 
the water quality. This is part of the City’s water resource portfolio and the Department has been 
proactive and planning for this in the future.   

Some highlights from other engagements that also fulfill additional Activity Areas include the following:  

• Community Partnering and Engagement: The City has had long-standing relationships with Cal Poly, 
who conducts wastewater research at the WRRF, and Science Discovery, who conducts field trips for 
elementary school children at the WRRF. Tours for people of all ages are conducted at the WRRF 
regularly. The Utilities Department Facebook page is also a hub for community engagement.  

• Energy Efficiency: Prior to the WRRF Project, the WRRF staff initiated the WRRF Energy Efficiency 
Project, in partnership with PG&E and AECOM, to identify opportunities to decrease the WRRF’s energy 
consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades. With support from the City Council and 
the public, the team successfully implemented the upgrades needed to reduce annual electricity usage 
at the WRRF by approximately 30%. This represents significant cost savings for the City, considering that 
the WRRF is the largest power user in the City.    

• Water Reuse: Water is currently recycled to a tertiary level at the WRRF and is delivered to recycled 
water customers in the City. The Recycled Water Production Analysis (completed) and the Recycled 
Water Facilities Planning Study (in progress) will help the City plan for future water reuse, including 
potable reuse.