SCV gets a third water reclamation plant with Newhall Ranch

FILE PHOTO. Discharged water, or effluent, will meet contamination levels met by the SCV Sanitation District/ Jim Holt The Signal

With two water plants removing salty chloride from local wastewater at the same time, Santa Clarita Valley’s chloride woes are likely to finally subside, said the man who for the moment represents two sanitation districts.

“This is going to benefit us,” said Ray Tremblay who wears two hats — one for the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District and one for the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District.

Last week, the green light was given for Newhall Land to build a salt-reducing plant that would take in a portion of the water treated and released by the Valencia Water Reclamation plant, purify it by removing chloride and then send it back the district cleaner that it was before.

While the Newhall Land plant is being built, the chloride-reducing technology spelled out in the SCV Sanitation District’s four-year chloride compliance plan is also being built.

Two plants pulling salty chloride out of treated wastewater dumped into the Santa Clara River promises to be good for Ventura County farmers of salt-sensitive crops downstream, good for local Sanitation officials struggling more than a decade to reduce chloride contamination and good for state water officials keeping tabs on water contamination.

Shared services
On Thursday, Tremblay explained to The Signal how Newhall Land — and specifically, the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District — is going to help all of the SCV reduce chloride contamination of the river through a “services sharing” agreement.

Tremblay tapped one end of the Newhall Ranch map, saying: “We’re going to build our facility here,” referring to the SCV Sanitation District’s pursuit of a four-year promise to state water officials.

“And, Newhall Land is building their own facility,” he said, tapping another spot on the map.

When the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved Newhall Ranch and the construction of 21,000 homes west of Interstate 5, it was an approval that came with a number of conditions.

Topping the list of those conditions was a promise that Newhall Land set up its own sanitation district and build its own regional sewer system to serve the mega housing project.

Newhall Ranch Sanitation District
In 2006, the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District was formed.

The new Sanitation District covers an area that covers two of Newhall Ranch subdivisions – Landmark Village and Mission Village — between I-5 and the Ventura County line, along the north side of Highway 126, stretching south.

The Newhall Ranch Sanitation District board of directors is actually the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and its staff is the staff of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles.

Another condition that Newhall Land was expected to meet if Newhall Ranch was to be built was that it would obtain its own permit to discharge pollutants into the Santa Clara River.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board sets limits on how much an any pollutant can be discharged as effluent into the watershed, most significantly for the SCV – chloride.

The Newhall Ranch Sanitation District effluent — discharged water — would meet the same stringent contamination levels met by the SCV Sanitation District, ensuring no more than 100 milligrams of chloride are in every liter of water.

Water Reclamation Plant
The permanent home of the Newhall Ranch Water Reclamation Plant is expected to be built right at the Ventura County line, just north of the Santa Clara River.

In the interim, before the permanent Newhall Land Water Reclamation Plant is built, Newhall Land and the SCV Sanitation District will continue to share a number of services.

The 2002 Interconnection Agreement between the two, calls for wastewater produced by the first 6,000 homes of Newhall Ranch to be treated, temporarily, at the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant on The Old Road, at the Rye Canyon Road T-intersection.

Newhall Land is expected to pay for pipe connection fees and service charges just like any other customer of the SCV Sanitation District.

And, Newhall Land is expected to pay for the building of all facilities run by the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District.

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