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Morena Pump Station, Force Main, and Conveyance System Design

Innovative reuse program creates a sustainable and reliable drinking water supply for San Diego residents.
  • Rendering shows overhead south facing view of San Diego’s Morena Pump Station - Gannett Fleming.

    The new pump station, shown in a rendering, will provide wastewater for reuse and reclamation.

  • Rendering shows overhead east facing view of San Diego’s Morena Pump Station - Gannett Fleming.

    The new pump station, shown in a rendering, is part of San Diego’s innovative water supply system.

City of San Diego


San Diego, California

Our Role

37.7 mgd two-stage sewage pump station, 28.5 miles combined brine pipeline, force main and water pipelines
Construction Cost
$240 million
In progress
New Construction
  • More than 37 million gallons of potable water produced daily
  • Sustainable water supply for a city with low annual rainfall
  • Reduced dependency on costly imported water

As part of the ambitious Pure Water San Diego program to create an independent, drought-proof water supply for city residents, an additional 37.7 million gallons of wastewater will be treated at the North City Reclamation Facility each day. The new Morena Pump Station and force main will deliver wastewater to the plant, which will be expanded to handle the increased volume. After tertiary treatment, the effluent will be sent to the city’s new advanced water purification facility (AWPF) for additional treatment before delivery to the Miramar Water Treatment Plant for further treatment and distribution to residents.

Before becoming a business group of Gannett Fleming, KEH & Associates managed the design of the new 7,500-horsepower sewage pump station, gravity sewers to the pump station, and 16- and 36-inch water pipelines as part of the program’s first phase. The design features microtunneling approximately 2,000 feet of pipeline underneath a six-lane highway to minimize traffic disturbance during construction. When construction of the pump station and pipelines is complete in 2022, the project is expected to produce more than 37 million gallons of potable water every day.

What We Did

The scope of the team’s design work includes wastewater diversion structures and pipelines from four existing trunk sewers, water and distribution pipeline totaling 14,000 feet along Morena Boulevard, approximately 4,000 feet of gravity sewers ranging in diameter from 48 to 78 inches, and the 37.7-mgd pump station.

The two-stage pump station will send wastewater uphill from the southern part of the city to the North City Water Reclamation Facility, more than 10 miles away. Pump station design includes odor control, an electrical and motor control building, a screening system to protect pumps from debris, an energy dissipator to reduce downstream flow rates for erosion control, and three separate diversion structures to direct water flow.

Key Features

  • Two-stage sewage pump station handles 37.7 million gallons of wastewater daily.
  • 14,000 feet of pipeline distributes treated effluent to the AWPF.
  • 4,000 feet of gravity sewers convey wastewater to the pump station from existing city trunk sewers.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Expanded reclamation will reduce wastewater discharge into the Pacific Ocean by 50 percent, lessening environmental impacts.
  • San Diego’s production of potable water will decrease required imports by one-third, controlling the cost of a scarce resource in the city.
  • Pipeline alignment placed in already-developed areas reduces the impact of new construction on undeveloped landscapes.

Similar Projects: Water/Wastewater: Drinking Water, Engineering, Wastewater: Interceptors, Force Mains, & Collection Systems, Wastewater: Pumping, Drinking Water: Transmission Distribution & Storage, Water/Wastewater: Wastewater, Water/Wastewater, Engineering: Water/Wastewater