CSD Director Les Clark, left, discusses a point with Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations.
The Community Services District moved closer to adding to the community’s water supply options this week when the CSD Improvements Committee recommended approval of a bid to drill a well. The project requires board approval and an access agreement for the well site to proceed.
The community depends on the Cosumnes River for its water, which is diverted from the river from November to May and stored in the Calero, Chesbro and Clementia reservoirs.
The CSD received a $500,000 grant in 2011 to construct a well “to insure there is an adequate water supply at full build-out during times of drought or for other emergency needs.”
“Actually, this is an emergency well,” Interim General Manager Ed Crouse said at Tuesday’s meeting. Since it is uncertain when or if the well will come into play, Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations, advocated upgrading well components to stainless steel for increased corrosion resistance and longevity. “It would be very disappointing to have a well in the ground and by the time you want to turn it on it’s non-functioning and not meeting water quality standards,” said Siebensohn.
The project does not include permanent piping or treatment facilities. “Why put facilities in the ground that you’re not going to use, and it’s just going to deteriorate and you’re going to have to maintain?” Crouse said. “We’re going to have power out there so we can roll in a treatment plant as needed, and we can put a temporary pump station in there to boost the pressure up and we can (use) temporary piping.”
“Sounds like a reasonable alternative solution,” Director Les Clark agreed.
The project consists of drilling one well to a depth of 350 feet at a site on the Anderson Ranch west of Rancho Murieta Airport. CSD studies have identified it as “the most probable site for water,” according to a memorandum Siebensohn prepared for the committee.
Seven bids were received for the project, “versus the other two times when we went out for bids and we got zero bids,” Siebensohn remarked. A completion date of Nov. 1 was specified for the project. The grant expires in December, although “there is a potential to extend that grant as was done previously,” Siebensohn said.
The project goes to the board with the committee’s recommendation for the lowest bidder, Bradley & Sons Inc., and the stainless steel alternative for a not-to-exceed cost of $319,088.
But the project won’t happen unless the CSD receives a right of entry agreement or ownership of the well site. “We’re still working on getting access for the site,” Siebensohn told the committee. Crouse said the CSD expected to secure the right of entry when property owner Carol Anderson Ward returned from vacation Aug. 10. He added that her representative, developer John Sullivan, “has been working with his attorney to get the document ready for Carol’s signature.” Crouse said he met with Sullivan last week to discuss developing a memorandum of understanding with bullet-points to bring to the board that “should lead us down the final path to getting the final easement and use agreement in place.”
Sullivan, who attended the meeting, said an expired 1994 access agreement was “fairly comprehensive ... we’ll use it as the template for the new arrangement” to address issues that include “joint use, how to share, and what the cost of water is.”
A right of entry agreement has eluded the CSD for years. In 2013, Sullivan threatened to withhold access to the site unless the CSD provided water service for his hotel project.
Solar project slowed by regulations
Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations, provided an update on the solar installations at the wastewater treatment plant and the water treatment plant. With just paperwork remaining, the wastewater plant installation could be implemented “any time now,” he reported, but the water treatment plant was waiting on revisions as the fire department reviewed the plans.
“These projects have been a debacle with regulatory oversight,” Siebensohn said.
“Feeling my pain?” interjected developer John Sullivan from his seat at the meeting table. Sullivan is developing the Murieta Gardens project and property on the North.
Director Les Clark asked “when it is time to ask for some oversight intervention?” from Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost, “because it’s one of her special concerns about county department inefficiencies.”
“The ball’s in Solar City’s court” Siebensohn replied. “It’s been dragging not for lack of work onsite but for getting all these signatures to be able to proceed.”
CSD contracted with Solar City for solar power installations at the plants.
Murieta's 'old irrigation habits' helping Laguna Joaquin level
When asked about how Laguna Joaquin was faring without water from the Cosumnes Irrigation Association irrigation ditch, Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations, said, “It’s surprisingly doing OK because a lot of people are back to their old irrigation habits, so it’s getting filled from runoff.” He said CSD maintenance programs for flushing valves and hydrants also added water, and the Rancho Murieta Association has cut back on irrigation in common areas.
The CIA piping work is connected with the Murieta Gardens-Highway 16 expansion project. The CSD is using the opportunity to replace old slide gate valves in CIA diversion structures.
Committee recommends equipment replacement
The committee recommended replacing a 34-year-old metal tank at the wastewater reclamation plant at a cost of $29,671 and approval of a low bid of $14,000 to replace a failed control panel for a dam on the south end of wastewater secondary storage reservoirs 1 and 2. The 20-year-old panel operates pumps that remove water from the foot of the dam. The items will go to the board for approval at its August meeting.