In making sure sanitation officials stay on track for chloride-reduction plans for the Santa Clara River, water officials approved a bidding process for ultra-violet disinfection equipment this week, a key component of the plan.
A public meeting of the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board is scheduled to take place Friday beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Santa Clarita City Hall.
More than a decade ago, downstream farmers claimed chloride levels over 100 milligrams per liter in river water crossing the Ventura County line damaged their salt-sensitive crops like strawberries and avocados.
State water regulators ordered the local sanitation district to drastically reduce the amount of salty chloride it was discharging into the Santa Clara River.
For the past 13 years, Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District staffers have wrestled with various ways of meeting the 100 mg/L level for the naturally occurring component of common table salt.
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, which is charged with safeguarding water quality in the Los Angeles area, heard a promise from sanitation officials in October 2013 that the plan would be put in place and benchmarks met along the way.
One of the agenda items expected to be approved Friday is a recommendation to approve plans and call for bids for construction of chloride compliance projects at Saugus and Valencia Water Reclamation plants ultraviolet disinfection facilities.
The recommendation also calls for the authorization of sanitation staffers to set a date to begin receiving bids on the required work.
The Saugus and Valencia WRPs discharge treated wastewater, not beneficially reused for recycled water, to the Santa Clara River in accordance with permits issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to protect the environment and public health.
Federal and state laws require compliance with the permits including compliance with a stringent standard for chloride, a significant concern for sanitation officials these past two decades.
The three-member sanitation board approved a much-debated Chloride Compliance Project which includes, among other components, UV disinfection facilities.
The 4-year plan to reduce chloride involves, in part, building UV disinfection systems at Saugus and Valencia water treatment plants.
Once in place, the UV setup would replace chlorine used for in the disinfection of water discharged from the plants and, as sanitation staffers point out in their memo to the board, “provide continued protection of public health.”
The Board previously authorized pre-selection of the UV equipment with the understanding that contractors chosen to do the work would purchase the equipment from the selected supplier at a previously agreed-to cost.