SAN BENITO — In the last four years, the city has spent more than $1 million renovating its 91-year-old water plant.

And it plans to continue upgrading the plant until it reopens its new $17 million water plant in about a year.

In mid 2014, the city launched a project aimed at turning the old plant into its primary water source.

While contracted engineers estimated the project to cost $3 million to $4 million, City Manager De La Rosa’s decision to assign city crews to the job has helped the city cut costs, spokeswoman Martha McClain stated.

Eventually, the city plans to use the old plant as a back-up water source.

Meanwhile, De La Rosa stated the city expects its $17 million water plant to become operational by next summer.

In mid 2014, the city shut down the water plant, which opened in 2009, because it failed to properly operate.

According to McClain, the plant, which never produced its capacity of six million gallons a day, was shut down because its filtration system was not properly operating.

In August 2014, the city filed a lawsuit against companies involved in the design and construction of the plant.

Last December, the city received $1.87 million in cash and $3.1 million worth of services from Evoqua Water Technologies.

As part of the settlement, Evoqua agreed to perform $3.1 million in services aimed at reviving the plant.

According to McClain, the plant will be commissioned after Evoqua installs the equipment necessary to produce 10 million gallons a day.