Recycled water is going to school – a handful of local schools, actually.
Two of the Santa Clarita Valley’s three main water retailers are banding together with the Castaic Lake Water Agency to bring recycled water to College of the Canyons, the California Institute of the Arts, Placertia Junior High School, Hart High School and Newhall Elementary School.
The respective campuses of each affected school are expected to stay green with a dedicated pipeline that will bring them plenty of recycled water for landscaping.
Officials at the Newhall County Water District are at the helm of the project.
“We are very excited to bring additional recycled water back into the community,” Mike Alvord, NCWD’s assistant general manager told The Signal Tuesday.
The project, called the Recycled Water South End Project, involves laying more than four miles of purple pipe – the unofficial color of recycled water pipelines – from The Old Road at Valencia Boulevard, across Interstate 5 to Rockwell Canyon Road and the COC campus.
From that point, the purple pipe is expected to cut through old parts of Valencia to Cal Arts, down Tournament Road to Orchard Village Road and into Newhall, making its way to Dalbey Drive and Newhall Avenue.
The 4.4 miles of brand new pipe ends at Newhall Avenue and 13th Street, near Newhall Park where it is expected to water the park and the landscaping areas of the two school’s near it – Placerita and Hart.
“Both Valencia Water Company and Newhall County Water District customers will receive recycled water for irrigation as part of this project,” Alvord said.The three local water agencies – NCWD, CLWA and Valencia Water – agreed to the recycling project back in 2015, agreeing to share in the costs.
The Recycled Water South End Project is to be connected to the existing “backbone” of existing purple pipe installed by the CLWA, which runs from the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant, along The Old Road to Valencia Boulevard and west to water tanks near West Ranch High School.
“The responsibilities are primarily delineated between distribution (purveyors) – and backbone infrastructure (laid down by the CLWA),” Alvrod said.
“The main reason we are the lead agency for this particular project is because we were able to assign the resources needed and we are very interested in bringing recycled water to our customers,” he said.
Cost of the engineering design of the planned pipeline is about $800,000 – half of it to be paid for by the CLWA, and the remaining half paid equally by the two participating water retailers.
“We are taking incremental steps to have a ‘shovel ready’ project (in place),” Alvord said. “So that we can solicit grant funding for construction in the early part of 2018.”
Brian J. Folsom, engineering and operations manager for the CLWA, recommended to the agency’s Planning and Engineering Committee last week that they authorize the general manager to get the ball rolling.
The CLWA board of directors is expected to vote on the recommendation at its next regular meeting on May 24.
“The project is a joint project between CLWA, NCWD and VWC,” Folsom told The Signal Tuesday. “Cost sharing agreement is simply that all three agencies will share cost of final design.”
The Recycled Water South End Project augments two other projects intended to bring recycled water to other parts of the SCV.
Existing purple pipe
A month ago, SCV’S original purple pipe sprung a leak, costing CLWA more than $110,000 to fix.
The three miles of pipeline transporting recycled water represents the Agency’s inaugural step using recycled water.
The agency’s “Phase 1” pipeline built in the 1990’s carries water treated at the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant on The Old Road, just north of Six Flags Magic Mountain, south along The Old Road and then west along Valencia Boulevard where it crosses The Old Road to a Recycled Water Tank near West Ranch High School.
Along the way, the Agency’s Recycled Water pipeline delivers water to the Tournament Players Club Valencia golf course where it waters the 10th and 11th holes, helping with the conservation of about 430 acre-feet of water in a year.
To picture an acre-foot of water, imagine a football field filled with water one-foot deep.
Emerging purple pipe
The CLWA is vigorously pursuing other purple pipelines as part of “Phase 2” of its recycled water plan.
The Recycled Water South End Project is Phase 2C of the plan.
Phase 2A involves watering Central Park with recycled water and Phase 2B is recycled water to SCV’s East End through the planned Vista Canyon project in Canyon Country which involves the “Water Factory” – Santa Clarita’s first large-scale water recycling project.
The estimated cost of Phase 2 purple pipe is about $46.4 million.
By 2020, water officials hope an estimated 22,744 acre-feet of water will be recycled in and around Santa Clarita, watering our parks, school yards, wilderness tracts along our paseos and, of course, on more golf courses.
Are we on target to meeting that goal?
Alvord told The Signal Tuesday: “We are exceeding those targets.”
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