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O’side takes steps to reduce water use

OCEANSIDE — City water reduction efforts, that range from low flow sinks in city buildings to providing recycled water for irrigation, were shared at the City Council meeting on May 6.

On a small scale the city began the process to replace sinks, toilets and urinals in government buildings with low flow fixtures in January. The city water department budgeted funds to replace 282 sinks, 190 toilets and 54 urinals citywide.

Locations include the civic center, library, fire stations, police station, water facilities, and senior center. “We were looking at ways, proactively, we could reduce water consumption at city facilities,” Jason Dafforn, city interim water utilities director, said.

Dafforn said sinks, toilets and urinals would be inventoried next week to determine how much water they use. This will provide a baseline to measure water savings provided by the new low flow fixtures. A request for bids to do the work is expected go out within the next few weeks. Work is estimated to be completed within six months once a contractor is hired. The city is also working on replacing some of its lawn areas with Astroturf.

The city took a giant step forward to reduce its water use last Wednesday when the City Council approved close to $1 million to hire Ferreira Construction Company Inc., of Chino, to convert pipeline to transport recycled water to the Goat Hill Golf Course and El Corazon soccer fields.

Dafforn said the golf course and fields would have recycled water by this coming January. “It will be online the first part of 2016 for the two locations we’re targeting,” Dafforn said. “It’s big projects, that cost big dollars. The end results are very impressive.”

An estimated 169 acre-feet of recycled water will be used annually to water the two locations. In comparison an average household uses one third of an acre-foot of water a year. Recycled water will come from the San Luis Rey Water Treatment Facility.

The facility already delivers 250 acre-feet of recycled water annually to the Oceanside Municipal Golf Course and Whalen Lake Bird Sanctuary. The Goat Hill and El Corazon sites were added because they are major water users, located by existing pipeline, and the sites are ready to serve recycled water.

Future plans are to extend pipeline and offer homeowner associations, large golf courses, and other major water users recycled water for irrigation. In turn the properties would need to retrofit their water systems to accommodate recycled water.

“At the end of day it’s a payoff for everybody,” Dafforn said. Dafforn added the city water department has numerous other projects in the works. He said he sees the city reaching its mandated 20 percent water cutback, and credits residents with answering the call to reduce their water use.