The Coast News Group
Pictured Left to Right: Gerry Devitt, Director of Facilities for Encinitas Union School District Kimberly Thorner, General Manager, OMWD Michael Thorton, GM, San Elijo Joint Powers Authority Catherine Blakespear, Encinitas Mayor Elect and SEJPA Board Chair Larry Watt, OMWD Board Treasurer Mark Muir, Encinitas City Council and San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Ed Sprague, OMWD Board President Christy Guerin, OMWD Board Secretary Kristopher Tjernell, Special Assistant for Water Policy for California Natural Resources Agency Bob Topolovac, OMWD Board Vice President Michael Sabbaghian, Southern Region Office Chief for Department of Water Resources. Courtesy photo
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OMWD completes recycled water project

ENCINITAS — The Olivenhain Municipal Water District recently completed the installation of miles of recycled water pipelines in the Village Park community, and Flora Vista Elementary is the project’s first beneficiary.

The project, which began last April, included the conversion of a million-gallon water storage tank near Via Cantebria from drinking water to recycled water and the completion of a pump station that propelled the water to newly installed purple pipelines throughout Village Park.

Ultimately, the recycled water will replace potable water as the irrigation of choice for acres of landscape in 30 of the suburban neighborhood’s homeowner associations and both of the neighborhood’s elementary schools and middle school.

The schools will receive the water first due to retrofitting its water systems to accommodate the recycled water, said George Briest, Olivenhain’s engineering manager.

The water district hosted a ribbon cutting celebrating the project’s completion Monday afternoon at Flora Vista, where officials from the district, the school district, the city and several water agencies were on hand.

The ceremony was almost a year to the day to the last celebration related to the project, when officials hosted a valve-turning ceremony to commemorate the conversion of the Wiegand Reservoir to a recycled water storage facility.

Officials estimate that the new system will offset up to 14 million gallons of potable water use each year, enough drinking water to service 350 households for a year.

Village Park’s conversion is one of several projects that a coalition of 10 North County cities and water agencies have embarked on with the ambitious goal of increasing the amount of recycled water used in the region by 30,000 acre feet, which would free up an equal amount of drinking water for the drought-ravaged region.

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