Local Water Supply Workshop will determine next steps for city recycled water

OCEANSIDE — The upcoming Local Water Supply Workshop will determine where the city puts its recycled water pipelines over the next five years.

During the workshop city Water Utilities staff will present plans to expand the recycle water system, and ask for City Council’s direction.

“We need a recommendation from City Council so we can give direction to the consulting firm on which elements we want to start designing first,” Cari Dale, city water utilities director, said.

Staff recommendations are for pipeline to go to Morro Hills farmland, and to add a bigger main pipeline at the San Luis Rey plant, where water is recycled.

Many farmers are large water users. Recycled water will cut farmers’ water commodity

costs to about half of present costs.

Recycled water delivered to farms will be treated to ensure it has a lower salt content than current recycled water. This additional process will increase the rate to slightly more than standard recycled water. The exact rate charge has not yet been developed, but will remain significantly below potable water rates.

“It will reduce a lot of costs farmers are facing,” Dale said.

A bigger main pipeline at the San Luis Rey plant will ensure a reliable connection to other pipelines as the system expands.

It will immediately benefit El Corazon soccer fields, and include extensions to the Oceana neighborhood and Ocean Ranch Business Park.

Currently a repurposed older pipeline carries recycled water to El Corazon.

“We need to have a pipeline in a better condition, that ensures a higher confidence,” Dale said.

The workshop is the first time council members and residents will see plans for the layout of additional recycled water pipeline.

“We’ll talk about each pipeline, how much will it will cost and how much recycled water will be delivered,” Dale said.

There will be no request for funds. The immediate next step is to go forward with planning. Funds to do so are already in the current capital improvement program budget.

Key stakeholders expected to attend the upcoming meeting are farmers and Ocean Hills residents.

The city has been working with the Ocean Hills Homeowners Association since 2012 to develop a joint project to deliver recycled water to the development’s green belts. Unfortunately, the previous partnership agreement fell through. An alternative agreement to deliver recycled water to Ocean Hills without a partner is being developed.

Dale said the workshop will inform all residents of Oceanside’s efforts to build its local water supply.

“The workshop will share what Oceanside is doing to be proactive,” Dale said.

Recycled water development is a large part of the city reaching its 50 percent local water supply goal.

It is also a goal of the Water Utilities Department to ensure smooth rates for customers, without big increases.

Recycled water helps lower monthly water costs for large water users. It has the benefit of not including Metropolitan Water District and County Water Authority purchase costs, which continue to rise.

“Recycled water is a good thing for everybody, it’s reliable and has a cost saving bonus,” Dale said.

The Local Water Supply Workshop will be held 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 31, at City Council chambers.

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