The Coast News Group
Carlsbad Community

Carlsbad green-lights recycled-water expansion

CARLSBAD — The next step for the city’s ongoing purple pipe project was approved on Oct. 24 by the City Council.

The city awarded a contract to Burtech Pipeline Inc. for $1,155,808 for construction of Recycled Water Phase III expansion project. The project is expected to take 90 days barring any rain delays or change orders.

Part of the $37 million Phase III plan will deliver recycled water to customers along Navigator Circle, Ponto Drive and Avenida Encinas (south of Poinsettia Lane) for irrigation purposes, according to Carlsbad Municipal Water District Associate Engineer Lindsay Leahy.

While there are recycled water pipelines in the homeowner association neighborhoods, she said, there is no connection point.

“This pipeline project is actually going to connect some of the existing HOA pipelines to recycled water,” Leahy explained. “Right now, they are running potable water through the recycled water pipeline there. So, we will make that connection so they have access to the recycled water.”

In addition, the expansion will also reach the Poinsettia Village retail center, anchored by the Ralphs grocery store. The city will also tie into the pipeline at the Ponto Road intersection adjacent to the Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton property, to deliver recycled water into the neighborhoods.

Another segment, on Navigator Circle, will also provide recycled water to the neighborhood.

Phase III began in 2012 and included the expansion of the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility, 18 miles of new pipeline and building a 1.5-million-gallon storage tank. Only the tank and eight miles of pipeline remain for Phase III.

“There are two more portions left in this program,” Leahy said. “It included five pipeline segments and the storage tank. Recycled Water Segment 5, which is currently in design, is going to be the final pipeline segment left.”

According to the staff report, $14,157,156 remains available for Phase III and Leahy said the deadline to complete the remaining projects is in 2020. She said there are no other phases planned at this time.

As for the recycled water program, Leahy said the city sold 4,800 acre-feet of recycled water in 2014. An acre-foot of water is one foot of water over one acre.

Also, recycled water comes without restrictions during a drought.

“It does provide that additional buffer to the residents and businesses using it to irrigate their properties,” Leahy added. “It takes a little relief off the potable (drinking) water system.”

In addition, the city has reduced its purchases of potable water, while recycled water accounts for 23 percent of usage, a 16 percent increase over the past 10 years, throughout most of Carlsbad. Parts of the city are not served by the CMWD.