Sanitation officials green light Newhall Ranch sewer connection

Proposed site of Newhall Ranch development, looking southeast state Route 126 in Castaic. Dan Watson/The Signal.
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Developers building 21,000 homes for Newhall Ranch can start installing pipes to connect the first of those homes to the Santa Clarita Valley sewer system following a decision Thursday by the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District board.

Three members of the local Sanitation District board — Laurene Weste, Cameron Smyth and L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger — voted unanimously Thursday at Santa Clarita City Hall to approve an agreement that green lights construction of sewer pipes linking Newhall Ranch to the SCV.

The agreement, called the Joint Sewer Services Agreement, is between the SCV Sanitation District and the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District — was created by LAFCO in July 2006. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors confirmed the formation of the district in January 20111.

“The developer needs to provide that there will be a system in place by the time the first toilet flushes,” Ray Tremblay, spokesman for the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District, told The Signal Thursday after the 90-minute public meeting.

The agreement means Newhall Ranch can now “start building its sewer system,” he said.

Members of the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District board – who are the supervisors of the Los Angeles County — are expected to approve the same commitment March 13.

Under the JSS agreement, the SCV Sanitation District is slated to treat water sent to it from the first 6,000 homes built in Newhall Ranch.

When Newhall Ranch grows beyond 6,000 homes, the housing project is expected to a have a fully functional water reclamation plant built and operational, Tremblay said.

“This (agreement) is for the first 6,000 homes,” Grace Robinson Hyde, chief engineer and general manager of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts told about a half dozen people who attended the noontime meeting.

“After that, they (Newhall Ranch) will have to have their own water reclamation plant built,” she said.

The deal also includes an agreement as to how both sanitation districts will remove salty chloride from water being treated – a problem the SCV Sanitation District has been wrestling with for more than two decades.

And, since it continues to meet that challenge, it does not want to be “exasperated” with any  additional burden of removing the salty compound from water it gets from Newhall Ranch, Tremblay said.

As a result, Newhall Ranch developers are expected to build a salt-removing facility and have it in place before a single drop of sewer water is sent to the SCV Sanitation District.

The sewer pipes now expected to be installed are within the first subdivision of Newhall Ranch’s Mission Village development.

The Mission Village project site is expected to be developed on 1,262 acres and contain up to 4,055 residential units and 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use commercial space, along with an elementary school, fire station and public library.

Plans call for the pipes to be installed along Magic Mountain Parkway, one set of pipes near The Old Road and the other set by Commerce Court Drive.

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