Microvi restores critical community drinking water for City of San Juan Bautista

Microvi, a developer of next-generation biotechnologies for the water, wastewater and renewable chemical industries, will be installing a Microvi MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) nitrate treatment system for the City of San Juan Bautista, California. The system will allow the city to ensure a supply of clean drinking water in a region that has found high levels of nitrate in their water sources.

Having shut down two wells in the past four years, Don Reynolds, city manager of San Juan Bautista, revealed that the city had to shut down its newest well last March even after spending US$750,000 on this new well.

The City of San Juan Bautista relies on three wells to provide drinking water to a population of just over 2,000 residents. Last March, one well was taken offline due to nitrate contamination. To better secure its source of drinking water, the city and the San Benito County Water District have partnered to import surface water six-miles to the city’s system to blend with the groundwater. While importing water from nearby treatment plants is an option, treating water locally is found to be more cost-effective for the city.

Dr Fatemeh Shirazi, CEO of Microvi, said: “We are pleased to offer the City of San Juan Bautista an effective and economical solution to treat the pervasive challenge of nitrate contamination. This installation exemplifies our company’s commitment to bring sustainable solutions to communities that need it most.”

Microvi’s MNE technology provides a cost-effective, scalable method that allows the utility to use existing infrastructure and staff to implement and maintain the system.

The project with the City of San Juan Bautista is funded in part through Microvi’s partnership with climate-tech nonprofit Elemental Excelerator. Microvi joined Elemental Excelerator’s seventh cohort to participate in the Equity and Access track in November 2018.

This project comes at the heels of commercial projects with Sunny Slope Water Company and Cucamonga Valley Water District, as well as the commissioning of the wastewater sidestream treatment at Oro Loma Sanitary District’s 12 MGD plant.