The Coast News Group

O’side closer to delivering reclaimed water

OCEANSIDE — Reclaimed water delivery is expected at Goat Hill Park golf course and El Corazon soccer fields by January.

“Our target is the first of the year water will be on the ground at the locations,” Jason Dafforn, interim water utilities director, said. “When customers are not using potable water for irrigation, there is more water available. That benefits the entire community.”

City Council approved completed pipeline conversion work by Ferreira Coastal Construction Company on Sept. 16.

The work was funded in part by offset fees paid by the recently approved Villa Storia housing development.

“It’s a huge benefit for everybody,” Dafforn said. “It truly is out of the box, and not a requirement.”

Dafforn said next steps include planned rehabilitation to pumps and updates to treatment equipment. Then the city will conduct final tests before recycled water is turned on at the sites.

Four miles of city pipeline, outside of the stretch of converted pipe, will undergo pressure tests to ensure pipes can carry the water. Dafforn said the pipeline was in operation eight months ago, and no major repairs are expected to be necessary.

“I anticipate a few things will need to be repaired and fixed as part of the process,” Dafforn said. “It’s quite a bit of pipe. We’ll go through the process to make sure it’s ready to go.”

On the receiving side, sites are readying their systems to use the reclaimed water.

El Corazon sports park was built with the anticipation that reclaimed water would be used for irrigation.

Goat Hill Park golf course, which was built in 1952, is undergoing landscape and pipeline upgrades to get ready for reclaimed water. Upgrades include replacement of the water main and irrigation system.

“As soon as we get it there, I’m sure they’re going to be using it,” Dafforn said.

The city will save 169 acre-feet of potable per year by delivering reclaimed water to the golf course and soccer fields. The water savings is equivalent to yearly water use of 507 average homes.

Dafforn said once reclaimed water is delivered to the Goat Hill and El Corazon sites, customers along the pipeline who have separate irrigation meters will be approached.

Irrigation meters are usually installed at parks, slopes and nature-ways. Having these meters in place allows easy and inexpensive conversion to reclaimed water.

Reclaimed water is treated at the San Luis Rey Reclamation Facility. Dafforn said the process is less expensive than treating potable water. This allows reclaimed water to be sold at a 15 percent lower rate. In addition, San Diego County Water Authority pass-through fees are not charged, which adds to customer savings.

Monthly ratepayers, builder buy-in fees and grants pay for the city’s reclaimed water system. Reclaimed water has been used to irrigate the Oceanside Municipal Golf Course and Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary since the 1990s.