CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA —The San Elijo Joint Powers Authority (SEJPA), in partnership with the city of Solana Beach, announced the completion of its Storm Water Diversion Structure at Seascape Sur in Solana Beach. This underground facility is the final component of a $5 million recycled water project that includes capturing urban runoff and some strategic storm water flows for the protection of beach water quality and the development of new local water supplies.
The Storm Water Diversion Structure includes automated pumping equipment and water level gauges to direct nuisance runoff and “first flush” storm water away from the beach storm drain pipes and into the sanitary sewer system for treatment and reuse. These flows are received at the San Elijo Water Reclamation Facility, equipped with sand filters, micro-filtration and reverse osmosis to produce high quality recycled water for irrigation and industrial use.
“Protecting the environment and public health are the foundation of SEJPA’s mission,” said Mark Muir, chairman of the SEJPA board of directors. “We worked collaboratively with the city of Solana Beach to solve a water quality issue and create new water at the same time.”
The Seascape Sur Storm Water Diversion Structure was one of two constructed as part of the SEJPA’s Advanced Water Purification Facility that broke ground in 2011. SEJPA’s recycled water currently irrigates landscapes in Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas
The Advanced Water Purification Facility was originally designed and built to lower the level of salt in the SEJPA’s recycled water, protecting landscape and turf irrigated by this water. While evaluating the Advanced Water Purification project, the board and management concluded that additional environmental benefits could be achieved by integrating two storm water diverters into the project.
“SEJPA is experiencing more demand than ever for recycled water,” said Mike Thornton, general manager. “Strategically capturing urban runoff and some storm water allows us to protect the environment and public health while creating new water supplies that are greatly needed. With the successful integration of these two diverters, more may be added in the future.”
Expanding the Advanced Water Purification project to include storm water recycling also resonated with the state of California, as the project received approximately $800,000 in grant funding through Proposition 84, Integrated Regional Water Management Program.
The Seascape Sur project has maintained ongoing support of local environmental organizations as well. “The Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Chapter is excited to see SEJPA’s Stormwater Diversion Project completed,” said Roger Kube, chairman of the San Diego County Chapter of the foundation. “Our activist network works tirelessly to ensure public access to the beach and improve water quality so that we don’t have beach closures. We’re excited by the efforts of SEJPA’s board and staff to think proactively for the environment, and hope this project serves as a model and inspiration for other agencies to do their part to protect our oceans, waves and beaches.”