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With a $500,000 grant on the line and a June 30 deadline, the Community Services District is considering switching the grant application from an augmentation well to expanded use of recycled water. The CSD Improvements Committee recommended taking the plan to the board for approval this month.

“All our recycled water projects are water augmentation projects,” Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations, said at the Improvements Committee meeting Feb. 5. “The use of recycled water would offset our potable water use, existing and future.”

Siebensohn said the Regional Water Authority, the grant administrator, seemed receptive to the idea of the shift, based on cursory discussions.

The CSD adopted a policy in 2011 to use recycled water whenever it was feasible. A 2013 study identified the most cost-effective recycled water service areas and estimated the amount of recycled water that would be available after the Country Club’s irrigation needs are met. The CSD treats the community’s wastewater and uses the recycled water to irrigate the golf courses. There will be enough recycled water to fully supply the club’s irrigation needs after about 300 more homes are built.

The CSD board made Stonehouse Park a priority for recycled water service when the water becomes available in the future. 

The CSD received the grant for a well in 2011. At that time, the district designated an augmentation well as part of the long-range water management plan to ensure an adequate water supply at full build-out during times of drought or for other emergency needs. The grant deadline has been extended several times as the CSD failed to reach agreement with the owner of the property identified by CSD studies as the most probable source of water.

Siebensohn provided a list of recycled water projects totaling $588,760 that, if completed, could meet the present deadline and qualify for 50 percent in matching funds. The first project has already been approved by the board, General Manager Mark Martin noted. At last month’s board meeting, directors approved an agreement to reimburse the developer for the cost of boring under Highway 16 to prepare for the installation of a 12-inch recycled water line for future service to Stonehouse Park.

Siebensohn outlined additional projects to serve Murieta Gardens, a commercial loop, and the area around the CSD offices, for a potential savings of 68 acre-feet of potable water annually.

“They’re next in line for what we would be doing in the recycled water system anyways,” Siebensohn said.

The first step is to have the board authorize reassigning the grant funding from the augmentation well to recycled water projects, Martin said. The board will take the matter up at its meeting on Feb. 20.

In other business...

  • The CSD lacks funding from the developer to review water, sewer and drainage studies the developer has submitted to the county for a proposed development of about 800 lots on the North. General Manager Mark Martin said an agreement with the developer will ask for “a larger initial deposit ... to have enough that we can actually draw from, rather than to be chasing payments all the time.”
  • The committee recommended board approval of a change order for a project that replaces an outdated controller at the reclamation plant where secondary treated wastewater is processed into tertiary wastewater for irrigation. The change order is for additional equipment and programming required to monitor data for the process. The not-to-exceed cost of $15,569 would bring the project total to about $130,000, with funding to come from sewer replacement reserves.
  • The committee discussed concerns the district’s engineer and inspector have raised about the storm drainage system the developer is installing for the Murieta Gardens II subdivision because gaps have developed between pipes. The engineer described the system as “relatively shallow” and recommended the developer reexamine it for pipe joint failures.

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