Military Moves to Clean Chemicals Out of Well Water on Camp Pendleton

Officials at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton are bringing two new water filtration facilities online by the end of the year to address so-called “forever chemicals” in base drinking water.

Per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances, or “PFAS,” are a family of man-made compounds used for more than 70 years in all manner of consumer products. Non-stick cookware, stain-wicking clothing and even fast food wrappers are just some of the many items in everyday use worldwide containing the compounds.

Camp Pendleton is Latest California Agency to Find PFAS Chemical in Drinking Water

Camp Pendleton leaders on Monday sent a public notice to thousands of service members and civilians who live and work on the base’s north end alerting them that recent testing revealed their drinking water contained a higher-than-desired level of PFAS, a potentially carcinogenic chemical that has been found in much of Southern California’s groundwater supply.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, can be found in cleaning products, water-resistant fabrics, grease-resistant paper and non-stick cookware, as well as in products such as shampoo, dental floss and nail polish.

CWA Vote Entitlement Percentage Up for RMWD, Down for FPUD and Camp Pendleton

The weighted vote at 2022 San Diego County Water Authority board meetings will increase slightly for the Rainbow Municipal Water District while decreasing slightly for the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The Nov. 18 SDCWA board meeting approved the 2022 weighted vote allocations for the CWA member agencies. RMWD will have 3.926% of the weighted vote, FPUD will have a weighted vote of 2.238%, and the Camp Pendleton weighted vote will be 0.081%. For the 2021 board meetings, RMWD had a weighted vote of 3.923%, FPUD’s share was 2.256%, and the Camp Pendleton weighted vote was 0.084%.

Fallbrook Fights for 70 Years to Use Water From Nearby River

The Santa Margarita River flows through town but Fallbrook had to fight for 70 years to finally use it.

The narrow river winds its way from Riverside County, through Fallbrook, and eventually onto Camp Pendleton in northern San Diego County where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. For the longest time, the military base did not want to share the river’s water with Fallbrook. The federal government filed a lawsuit against Fallbrook in 1951. Since then, Fallbrook Public Utility District General Manager Jack Bebee said they’ve battled, negotiated, and pleaded with all levels of government.

Calgon Carbon Given FPUD Contract for Granulated Activated Carbon System

Calgon Carbon Corporation was awarded the Fallbrook Public Utility District contract to provide granular activated carbon treatment system equipment. FPUD’s board voted 5-0, Dec. 7, to award Calgon Carbon a contract for $1,260,493. A separate 5-0 vote that day approved a change order to the construction contract with Filanc Alberici JV to install pipelines associated with the granular activated carbon treatment system.

Congress Approves Regional Projects, Funding for Camp Pendleton

Congress is expected to pass two bills before the end of the year that will bring millions to the region for local priorities including Camp Pendleton construction projects as well as area bluff erosion and flood protection projects.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act, a bill that authorizes development for local projects in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Specifically, the bill includes an authorization for the San Luis Rey River Flood Protection project in Oceanside and the Del Mar bluffs shoreline project.

FPUD Board, Others Tour Conjunctive Use Project Progress

The Fallbrook Public Utility District held a Nov. 10 tour of the Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project.

All five FPUD board members participated in the tour. If a majority of board members are present, an activity must be noticed as a public meeting, and members of the public were also invited to join the tour.

FPUD Amends Design Services Contract for CUP

The Fallbrook Public Utility District’s professional services contract for the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project has been amended.

Fallbrook PUD Board Members Tour Construction Project

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, public agencies have found creative solutions to holding meetings in compliance with the State of California’s meeting laws. Recently, Fallbrook Public Utility District board members stepped away from their video screens, using the opportunity to take a field trip to view a new project while conducting a traveling board meeting.
The Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project is a joint project with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and will eventually supply about 30% of the District’s water, and virtually all of Camp Pendleton’s water.

FPUD Board Tours Conjunctive Use Project Sites

The five Fallbrook Public Utility District board members were given a tour of FPUD’s Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project sites May 29.

Because a majority of the FPUD board members were present, it was legally required to be a noticed public hearing and the tour was officially a special meeting of the FPUD board. Although members of the public were welcome to attend they would have been required to remain in their own cars or trucks due to the coronavirus quarantine, but they would have been able to hear the audio communications.