Oceanside to water-wise retrofit 20 facilities

OCEANISDE — To help lower citywide water use Oceanside will make water-saving retrofits to toilets, sinks and showers at 20 city facilities.

City Council approved $104,000 on March 2 for fixture retrofits at fire stations, senior centers, libraries, the civic center, municipal pools and other facilities.

After retrofit work is completed 151 toilets will use 70 percent less water, and 48 urinals will use 80 percent less water. Water savings will add up to 2.4 million gallons annually.

An engineering study was done to determine the most beneficial city sites to have retrofit work completed. Facilities with high public use, like parks, will not undergo retrofit work because of drain clog issues that will be exasperated by the low-flow fixtures.

City staff will complete retrofit work on sinks and showers. A licensed contractor will be hired to retrofit toilets and urinals.

Amy Czajkowski, city project manager, said restrooms and showers will remain open during the three months of plumbing work that will begin in April.

“We’re not going to close any facility,” Czajkowski said. “Toilet and tile work will be done one stall at a time. It will not be that disruptive.”

The total cost of retrofit work will be reduced to $78,000 after the Metropolitan Water District SoCal WaterSmart rebate award of $22,000. The project will be paid for by water department Water Conservation Program funds.

Retrofit work complies with the California Water Conservation Act and city Water Utilities Department Conservation Master Plan.

Oceanside treats 25 million gallons of water a day, and has done well in cutting its water use.

The city surpassed its state mandated 20 percent water reduction target, and has maintained 21.6 percent reduction since June 2015.

Local water sources have also helped Oceanside exceed state reduction goals. Czajkowski said the city’s water reduction target was significantly lowered due to the Carlsbad Desalination plant providing the city local drought resilient water.

“Beginning this month the state will reduce our target to 12 percent, or about 3,200 acre feet,” Czajkowski said.

City water conservation measures and penalties were adopted in May 2015 and will continue. They include a mandatory limit of two days a week of landscape irrigation, immediate fix of water leaks, no watering for two days after a rain and no home or business water runoff.

Fines for noncompliance start at $100 and increase to $1,000 for repeat violators.

State emergency conservation measures, which were in effect through February 2016, have been extended through April. At that time information will be available on state snowpack and reservoir levels.

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