The Antioch City Council has approved signing a new $15 million line of credit for the construction of a desalination plant to treat brackish water drawn from the San Joaquin River.
Outgoing Mayor Sean Wright said enthusiastically before Tuesday’s unanimous approval, “I want this one.”
The water plant proposal has been in the works since 2016.
The agreement with the city’s lender, Bank of the West, will cover construction costs as the $64.6 million project gets underway next year at the location of the existing water treatment plant.
The overall cost of the project will be partly funded by state and federal dollars.
The Antioch Brackish Water Desalination Project is aimed at improving the reliability and operational flexibility of the city’s water supply.
Once constructed, the facility will provide 6 million gallons per day of capacity and help the city reduce its purchases of more expensive water from the Contra Costa Water District.
Depending on drought conditions, the plant will account for more than half of all water used in the city during certain months of the year and about 30 percent on an annual basis.
The project involves a new river intake pump station and fish screen as well as nearly five miles of new pipeline to the water plant and back to its discharge point.
The city has pre-1914 rights to draw water from the San Joaquin River but the draw is limited in summer and fall due to high salinity levels.
Antioch’s 112,000 residents in East Contra Costa County will benefit from the project.
City Manager Ron Bernal said Tuesday that the city is finalizing its plans for bidding out the contract. Construction is expected to take two years to complete.