Ocean Hills community considers water options

OCEANSIDE — The Ocean Hills housing community is considering more cost effective ways to water its greenbelts. Options on the table are connecting to city recycled water lines or digging a local well.

Residents are also looking at landscape changes to conserve water. The homeowners association (HOA) is in favor of re-landscaping common areas with low-water-use plants.

Some residents think reducing irrigation rates would go far enough to cut costs, and that lush landscaping should be maintained.

Councilman Jerry Kern was invited to a neighborhood meeting to share information on the city’s water supply March 3. Kern said 160 Ocean Hills residents were in attendance, and the meeting was broadcast to all 1,633 homes.

Kern said his role was to let residents know the city and county currently have a stable water supply.

The city’s diverse and reliable water supply includes desalinated water and city-sourced water.

“We’re in fairly good shape,” Kern said.

Kern added the optimistic outlook on water assures stability for three years, but there are no guarantees on future supply or purchase costs.

“I don’t know what it will look like five years out,” Kern said.

Kern said if homeowners elect to use recycled water, putting in needed infrastructure to deliver it would take about five years.

Cari Dale, city water utilities director, said there is no deadline for a decision. However a commitment by the HOA needs to be made for the city to move forward with supplying recycled water.

“The city would require a long-term agreement from the HOA to use recycled water, prior to the construction of any significant infrastructure,” Dale said.

City recycled water costs half the price of city potable water, which is currently being used to irrigate greenbelts.

If the neighborhood chooses to put in a well, its HOA would be responsible for well digging, maintenance and water transportation. A private well also requires county approval.

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