ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Construction of Escondido’s $65 million Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility for Agriculture (MFRO Facility) commenced recently, marking a milestone in the City’s goal of providing agriculture growers a high-quality irrigation supply and easing the burden on its wastewater infrastructure.

The MFRO Facility will treat a portion of the City’s existing Title 22 recycled water supply from the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility through membrane filtration (MF) and reverse osmosis (RO) technologies. The MFRO product water will then blend with recycled water untreated by the MFRO process to produce up to four million gallons per day (MGD) of water with a salt concentration appropriate for agricultural irrigation.

A newly-built recycled water conveyance and distribution system will pipe the blended water to outlying parts of the City for beneficial use by Escondido’s local growers, mainly avocado orchards. The increased use of recycled water will in turn reduce secondary treated effluent discharges to the Pacific Ocean and ease the burden on Escondido’s outfall which is reaching capacity, saving an estimated $1 billion to upsize.

“This is an important milestone for Escondido’s recycled water system. The MFRO Facility will provide a reliable, affordable, and high-quality water supply to our agricultural community for generations to come, while beneficially reusing wastewater and reducing our reliance on imported water.”
The City of Escondido’s Deputy Director of Utilities Angela Morrow

Since summer 2019, a joint venture of Filanc and Brown and Caldwell has been providing engineering design, construction, and operational phase services for all aspects of the MFRO Facility, the first design-build project in the city’s history.

“We applaud the City of Escondido on successfully reaching this landmark milestone,” said Filanc Design-Build Project Manager Gary Silverman. “The JV is honored to collaborate with the City and their owner’s agent, Black & Veatch, through this historic progressive design-build recycled water project.”

Construction, startup, and commissioning of the MFRO Facility is scheduled for substantial completion by early 2023.


About Brown and Caldwell

Headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., Brown and Caldwell is a full-service environmental engineering and construction firm with 52 offices and 1,700 professionals across North America and the Pacific. For more than 70 years, our creative solutions have helped municipalities, private industry, and government agencies successfully overcome their most challenging water and environmental obstacles. As an employee-owned company, Brown and Caldwell is passionate about exceeding our clients’ expectations and making a difference for our employees, our communities, and our environment. For more information, visit

About Filanc

J.R. Filanc Construction Company is an award-winning Design-Builder of water and wastewater treatment, storage, and conveyance infrastructure. Headquartered in Escondido, Filanc also maintains regional offices in Phoenix and Denver. This year we will celebrate our 69th anniversary as a California general engineering contractor and Design-Builder providing services in the water infrastructure business sector. Engineering News-Record consistently ranks Filanc among the top performing water and wastewater infrastructure contractors. For more information, visit