Water committee recommends funding for pipeline to Newhall Ranch

SCV Water logo
SCV Water Agency logo. Courtesy

SCV Water officials are planning to have the agency pay nearly $4 million for a half-mile stretch of pipeline along Magic Mountain Parkway to the heart of Mission Village, the first Newhall Ranch subdivision now under construction.

This phase of the Magic Mountain Pipeline runs from The Old Road to a spot near the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park entrance.

Although the plan to connect Newhall Ranch with SCV Water’s pipeline infrastructure has been in the works for six years — dating back to when the Newhall Ranch developer was The Newhall Land and Farming Co. — now is the time when actual shovels are going in the ground.

On Thursday, SCV Water’s Engineering and Operations Committee endorsed a recommendation that will now go to the SCV Water board of directors that they fund three aspects of the Magic Mountain Pipeline Phase 4, which total about $3.9 million.

On Tuesday, the board is expected to consider the recommendation to pay $3.39 million for construction costs of the pipeline, an amount not exceed $234,300 for managing the construction and $285,000 for inspection of the construction.


Under the terms of the pipeline agreement, the developer, FivePoint (successor to Newhall Land), is expected to do the actual construction while SCV Water reimburses them for that cost.

Going into Thursday’s meeting, Brian J. Folsom, SCV Water’s chief engineer, said the developer will be reimbursed because the pipeline will serve multiple roles.

“Typically a developer will pay for infrastructure exclusive to their development,” he said. “The Magic Mountain pipelines will serve Newhall Land development, but they are part of the agency’s main transmission pipeline system and will serve other existing and future uses, including the planned Magic Mountain Reservoir.”

“By installing the pipeline now, it coincides with other road improvements and will prevent digging up a new street in the future, as well as realizing savings by bundling construction work together,” Folsom said.

“In the end, Newhall Land and other future users of the pipeline will pay their fair share through facility capacity fees, when the time comes for starting water service,” he said.

Bidding firms

On July 11, the developer received bids from two pipeline construction firms, each based in Oxnard, for the Magic Mountain Pipeline project.

Toro Enterprises Inc., put in a bid of $3.1 million and Blois Construction Inc. offered a bid of $4.1 million.

This aspect of the project — Phase 4 — involves 2,400 feet of pipe measuring 42 inches in diameter. Phase 4 is expected to be completed by this time next year.

Pipeline construction conforms with other fundamental construction aspects underway at Newhall Ranch. Steve Churm, spokesman for Newhall Ranch developer FivePoint, said last month that the main operation underway at the development is grading the land for Mission Village and Landmark Village.

Groundwater wells

Water for Newhall Ranch is expected to come from four groundwater wells that are expected to pump more than 7,000 acre feet of water every year to supply the new residents.

That’s according to the environment impact report approved in 2012 by Los Angeles County supervisors, who told Newhall Land it was OK to build 21,000 new homes in the Santa Clarita Valley between Interstate 5 and the Ventura County line.

Specific Plan

According to the specific plan for Newhall Ranch — the document reviewed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in approving the development — the developer plans to pump more than 7,000 acre-feet of groundwater each year.

The plan states: “Newhall Ranch has historically used an average of 7,038 acre-feet per year for agricultural purposes. This water will be converted from agricultural use to urban use as Newhall Ranch develops.

The four wells are expected to feed three reservoirs, two of which can contain 4 million gallons of water each. The third holds 3.3 million gallons.

The specific plan also calls for water to be transported for Newhall Ranch through a pipeline built by Castaic Lake Water Agency — now SCV Water.

The new Magic Mountain Pipeline would connect existing pipes to the new Magic Mountain Reservoir to be built in Mission Village, the first phase of construction for Newhall Ranch.

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