OCEANSIDE — A ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 19 celebrated adding a new pump station to the Mission Basin Water Purification Facility that allows three times as many homes and businesses to receive treated groundwater from the facility.
“The 511 pump station and new pipeline will help to ensure a source of locally controlled, safe and reliable water,” Cari Dale, water utilities director, said.
The Mission Basin Water Purification Facility opened in 1994 with seven 150 horsepower pumps that have the capacity to deliver approximately 2 million gallons of treated groundwater a day to low-pressure zones within 320 feet elevation. The facility delivered local water to about 25 percent of customers as part of their water supply.
The new 511 pump station consists of three 350 horsepower pumps and an 18-inch transmission pipeline, which allow homes and businesses within 511 feet elevation to receive treated groundwater. The new pump station increases the facility’s capacity to pump treated groundwater to 75 percent of customers.
“This is one of the city projects that allows us to produce our water here locally,” Jason Dafforn, water utilities division manager, said. “We’re continuously looking for ways to become more self-reliant. We can check this off our list of things we need to do to reach self-sustainability.”
The Mission Basin Water Purification Facility is located along the San Luis Rey River, a mile inland from the ocean, so its operations do not need Coastal Commission approval.
“Oceanside is one of the few cities that do desalination from groundwater,” Mayor Jim Wood said. “Water is the No. 1 commodity in San Diego. Being able to push that water out to the community is very important.”
The approximately $2.8 million project was funded 25 percent by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and 75 percent by city water department funds.
The immediate benefit of the new pump station is that it increases the productivity of the facility and gets treated groundwater to more homes.
The long-term benefit is that it ensures a stable, self-reliant water source and puts less of a demand on shared water sources. This is a big plus as the cost of imported water continues to go up.
“The long-term benefit is an efficient sustainable source that we can control,” Dafforn said. “It benefits ratepayers with a more stable supply of water and more stable rates.”
The planning process for the 511 pump station began in 2010.
“We were limited by one single zone,” Dafforn said. “We needed to get water to other areas of the city. The idea was how to get water from here to there.”
A look at how to get the job done began with a feasibility study, which weighed the possibility and costs of transporting water to another area of the city. Then a request for proposals was sent out to find a consultant to evaluate the best plans.
Start up, maintenance and operations costs of plans were weighed. Once a plan was selected specifications on pumps’ horsepower, pumping range, durability and costs were looked at as well as what pipelines would carry the water.
The 511 pump station delivers 4.5 million gallons of water a day beyond the 1.9 million gallons the facility already pumps out to homes and businesses.
The Mission Basin Water Purification Facility now outputs 6.4 million gallons of water a day, which is 20 percent of the city’s potable water.