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Encinitas Residents Asked to Step-Up and Conserve Water

Encinitas, Calif.  — As California enters its third consecutive dry year and following the driest first three months of a year in the state’s recorded history, Governor Gavin Newsom and the State Water Resources Control Board took steps to drive water conservation at the local level, calling on local water suppliers to take locally appropriate actions that will conserve water across all sectors.

In response, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District and San Dieguito Water District are asking Encinitas residents to step-up and assist Californians across the state in dealing with the drought.

Manchester Avenue Potable Water Pipeline Replacement Project Completed

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District recently completed the Manchester Avenue Potable Water Pipeline Project. In total, 3,700 linear feet of aged potable water pipeline was replaced along Manchester Avenue, Rancho Santa Fe Road and Encinitas Boulevard.

The pipelines previously serving water in this area were installed in 1961 and were approaching the end of their lifespan.

To minimize the impact on the surrounding community, construction on the Manchester Avenue pipeline replacement project took place mainly at night. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Manchester Avenue Potable Water Pipeline Replacement Project Completed

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District recently completed the Manchester Avenue Potable Water Pipeline Project. In total, 3,700 linear feet of aged potable water pipeline was replaced along Manchester Avenue, Rancho Santa Fe Road and Encinitas Boulevard.

The pipelines previously serving water in this area were installed in 1961 and were approaching the end of their lifespan. OMWD takes a proactive approach in repairing and replacing aging water infrastructure to avoid leaks and ensure the continuation of uninterrupted water service to its customers. In the third year of drought in California, projects like this pipeline replacement, help save potable water and reduces costs to ratepayers.

“Emergency leaks are very costly, can waste millions of gallons of water, and can be disruptive to surrounding communities,” said Bob Topolovac, OMWD board director. “The investments we made to prevent these emergencies will benefit our ratepayers well into the future.”

Crews complete the final backfilling and repaving of the excavation area on Manchester Avenue required to facilitate the new pipeline installation. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Crews complete the final backfilling and repaving of the excavation area on Manchester Avenue required to facilitate the new pipeline installation. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Pipelines replaced included:

  • Approximately 1,900 linear feet of 12-inch pipeline in Manchester Avenue from Colony Terrace north to Encinitas Boulevard
  • Approximately 450 linear feet of 12-inch pipeline in Encinitas Boulevard west of Rancho Santa Fe Road
  • Approximately 500 linear feet of 12-inch pipeline in Rancho Santa Fe Road north of Encinitas Boulevard
  • Approximately 850 linear feet of eight-inch pipeline in South Rancho Santa Fe Road

The project completion map shows streets now fully opened to traffic and restored. Graphic: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

To minimize the impact on the surrounding community, construction took place mainly at night. The project was completed on time and with no major disruptions or water outages to the impacted community. OMWD coordinated with the City of Encinitas on a traffic management plan to mitigate construction traffic, and there were no significant traffic impacts.

 

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

WaterSmart Drought-Tolerant Plant Giveaway in Encinitas

The San Diego County Water Authority and three member agencies are partnering with Altman Plants for an Adopt-A-Plant event Saturday in Encinitas.

Vista-based Altman Plants, the largest nursery plant grower in the nation, has led efforts to increase water-efficiency and sustainability. The first 500 guests will receive free Smart Planet-brand drought-tolerant succulents to spur more residents to adopt water-efficient landscaping.

Water Authority member agencies – City of Carlsbad, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, and the San Dieguito Municipal Water District – have joined Altman Plants to highlight how WaterSmart plants, and landscaping and irrigation techniques can save our most precious natural resource.

Adopt-A-Plant

The event, at the Encinitas Home Depot from 9 a.m. to Noon, also includes an appearance by Geena the Latina, an iHeart radio personality who is promoting WaterSmart living on behalf of the Water Authority, and even an Altman employee dressed as a cactus.

Adopt-A-Plant-Giveaway-drought

WaterSmart landscaping

The plant giveaway is intended to promote WaterSmart landscaping as drought conditions statewide underscore the importance of carefully managing water.

“Tossing your turf and converting to a WaterSmart landscape is one of the most important ways that residents and businesses can reduce their water use permanently,” said Denise Vedder, Water Authority director of public affairs. “There are many beautiful low-water and native plants available that thrive in our region and combining those plants with water-efficient irrigation systems and sustainable landscape practices creates a beautiful landscape.”

Reliable water supplies are essential to the success of Altman Plants and the more than 5,000 farmers in San Diego County. The Water Authority and its 24 member agencies support the region’s growers, who generate more than $1.8 billion annually.

“San Diego farms have specialized in integrating agricultural activity and urban living, growing crops that optimize limited acres,” according to the San Diego County Farm Bureau. “San Diego far surpasses its fellow top producing counties in terms of average dollar value per acre with an agricultural production more valuable than other urbanized areas of California, such as San Francisco, Orange County, and Los Angeles combined.”

Small beginnings for nursery giant

The nation’s largest nursery plant grower has small roots, beginning in a Los Angeles backyard, and now stretches from San Diego County to the East Coast.

Altman Plants started in Ken & Deena Altman’s backyard in 1975. What began as a hobby, based on the couple’s interest in plants slowly transformed into a wholesale nursery business encompassing more than 1,700 acres in six states. The business began with a plant catalog of unusual succulents.

Later, the Altman’s would sell plants to local retail nurseries. The retailers loved the unusual and varied plants, and so did their customers. Altman Plants became more and more important to retailers because of their quality plants and innovative products.

For Altman Plants, water-efficiency, sustainability and WaterSmart operations are second nature, and the March 26 plant adoption event is another example of how the company gives back to the community.

The Water Authority, its 24 member agencies, and partners, offer numerous classes, rebates and other resources to help make WaterSmart living simple. More information at watersmartsd.org. 

(Editor’s note: The  City of Carlsbad, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, and the San Dieguito Municipal Water District are three of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

North County firefighters-confined space-Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Training Preps North County Firefighters for Confined Space Rescues

North San Diego County fire agencies teamed up with Olivenhain Municipal Water District in early December for confined space training drills. The drills prepare firefighting professionals to respond to emergencies in facilities such as water or wastewater treatment plants and are required to maintain their confined space certification.

Participants from North County fire agencies benefitted from the opportunity for team building during their recent training exercise hosted by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District confined space rescues

Participants from North County fire agencies benefitted from the opportunity for team building during their recent training exercise hosted by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

This year, training took place in one of OMWD’s water transmission vaults. Firefighters were able to use the vaults to practice confined space entries and other rescue scenarios. Fire personnel worked with OMWD staff in a team effort, and both groups benefitted from the opportunity to understand each other’s equipment and protocols.

Participating fire agencies include the Cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach, North County, Vista, and the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District.

Preparing for emergencies

As a result of training with OMWD, North County fire agencies can now respond more efficiently and confidently to similar facilities thanks to establishing working relationships in advance of emergencies. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

As a result of training with OMWD, North County fire agencies can now respond more efficiently and confidently to similar facilities thanks to establishing working relationships in advance of emergencies. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Confined space permits are required by OSHA before making any kind of confined space entry or rescue. OMWD and other member water agencies use such permits. Bob Topolovac, OMWD board director, said, “The confined space training with the fire agencies helps everyone prepare for emergencies that could happen in similar facilities.”

OMWD staff reviewed the conditions and possible actions within the vault space with fire crews. Participants discussed decision-making for confined space entry and conditions they might encounter, such as chemical exposure and electrical lock-out/tag-out requirements.

As a result of training, fire agencies can now respond more efficiently and confidently to similar facilities thanks to establishing working relationships in advance of emergencies. “We appreciate the collaboration with local fire agencies to ensure we’re all prepared for potential future emergencies. We look forward to supporting future training exercises,” added Topolovac.

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Joint Project by Olivenhain MWD and City of Encinitas Reaches Final Phase

The El Camino Real Potable Water Pipeline Replacement and Green Bike Lane Striping Project has reached its final stage. After the Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board approved filing of a notice of completion for the pipeline portion of the project, the City of Encinitas will finish restoring the street and complete new bike lane striping. The original pipelines were installed in 1961 and 1974 and fast approaching the end of their lifespan.

Water infrastructure-Olivenhain Municipal Water District-Base paving along El Camino Real across from Camino Encinitas Plaza, just north of Via Montoro. Photo: OMWD joint project by Olivenhainv

Joint Project By Olivenhain MWD and City of Encinitas Reaches Final Phase

The El Camino Real Potable Water Pipeline Replacement and Green Bike Lane Striping Project has reached its final stage. After the Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board approved filing of a notice of completion for the pipeline portion of the project, the City of Encinitas will finish restoring the street and complete new bike lane striping.

The original pipelines were installed in 1961 and 1974 and fast approaching the end of their lifespan. OMWD replaced approximately 4,700 linear feet of existing 12-inch diameter potable water pipeline along North El Camino Real from Encinitas Boulevard to Garden View Road, and approximately 650 linear feet of existing 12-inch diameter pipeline between Via Molena and Mountain Vista Drive. Water service lines and fire hydrant laterals served by the existing pipelines were also replaced.

The pipeline replacement will reduce water loss and prevent emergency shutdowns due to leaks. This is vitally important for water conservation and to ensure water supply reliability for businesses and residents, more important than ever due to drought conditions in the region.

“Proactive maintenance is a big part of what we do,” said Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board President Larry Watt. “Replacing aging infrastructure before it breaks helps to avoid emergencies, which are more costly and more impactful to customers.”

Coordination minimizes community inconvenience

Lowering a section of the new potable water pipe into a trench in El Camino Real joint project by OlivenhainLowering a section of the new potable water pipe into a trench in El Camino Real joint project by Olivenhain

Lowering a section of the new potable water pipe into a trench in El Camino Real. Night work helped minimize the inconvenience to nearby businesses and homes. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

To mitigate the impact to the surrounding community, OMWD coordinated with the City of Encinitas on its green bike lane project along the same route. The District implemented the lane restriping portion of the project on behalf of the City of Encinitas concurrently with the pipeline replacement project as an efficiency measure.

As a result, the two agencies combined what would normally be two separate, unrelated infrastructure improvement projects into a single effort to improve operational efficiency and reduce the temporary inconvenience of disruptions to area residents and businesses.

The bike lane will provide traffic calming measures, including improvements to safety and mobility for bicyclists along North El Camino Real from Encinitas Boulevard to Leucadia Boulevard by restriping and narrowing travel lanes. In addition, green-colored striping will augment some areas on the bike lanes and new signage and pavement markings will be installed.

“It was very important to us from the outset of the project to mitigate its impacts to the community, while also keeping costs down,” said Watt. “To that end, the partnership with the City of Encinitas was critical. They coordinated closely with us every step of the way.”

At the start of the project, the City of Encinitas requested that work be done at night to further reduce traffic impacts. Capitalizing on the reduced traffic as a result of the statewide stay-at-home order, OMWD was able to shift construction to the daytime for a portion of the project. Working during the day is more efficient and safer than night work, and minimized noise impacts to the surrounding neighbors. However, as traffic returned to normal levels, the City shifted work hours back to overnight.

New bike lanes due by December

Dedicated green bike lanes such as this example have an expected December completion date. Photo: Courtesy City of Encinitas

Dedicated green bike lanes such as this example have an expected December completion date. Photo: Courtesy City of Encinitas

The final work effort will include buffered bike lanes on the east and west, and fully restoring three lanes of traffic. Work is anticipated to occur through early December. Traffic controls will be in place during the day and at night with the most significant work occurring at night. Residents and businesses should anticipate lane closures and consider alternative transportation routes.

For questions specific to the City of Encinitas’ Active Transportation Enhancing Project, please email or call 760-943-2211.

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Rising Seas, Worsening Wildfires Endanger California Parks

Of all the existential threats California parks face — dwindling budgets, more visitors and costly, long-deferred maintenance — now comes a climate-driven conundrum: When is a park no longer a park? When its namesake trees disappear in a barrage of lightning strikes? When its very land is washed away by ever-rising seas?

San Diego Scientist Gets Closer to Understanding Why the Coast Collapses

Adam Young spent the last three years firing a laser from the back of his truck at Del Mar’s cliffs which are crumbling into the Pacific Ocean.

Cliff collapses along the California coast killed three Encinitas beachgoers in 2019. That same year, another bluff collapse in Del Mar destabilized a set of train tracks regularly carrying passengers between Los Angeles and San Diego. Policymakers need to make big decisions about how best to reckon with earth that seems to fall at random, but scientists still don’t understand what truly causes them to fall.

That’s what Young, a coastal geomorphologist (the study of how the earth’s surface formed and changes) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, wants to know: If we know how ocean waves and winter rains eat away at a cliff face, can we eventually predict where and when it will collapse?

El Camino Real Infrastructure Project Reaches Milestone

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District project to replace aging water infrastructure along El Camino Real in Encinitas has now reached the halfway point. After getting underway in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the project is making steady progress. District officials expect the entire project to be completed in Spring 2021.