Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved today the filing of a notice of completion for the El Camino Real Potable Water Pipeline Replacement and Green Bike Lane Striping Project. After over a year of collaboration with the City of Encinitas, OMWD has officially turned the project over to the city. The city will now begin the repaving and bike lane striping portion of the project.
Pure Water Oceanside construction remains on schedule for completion in 2022, with several significant milestones recently completed. The Oceanside project will purify recycled water to create a new, local source of high-quality drinking water that is safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound.
“Construction has impacted many residents and businesses,” said Cari Dale, City of Oceanside water utilities director. “Please know the City of Oceanside appreciates your patience. We thank people for understanding the need for this project and bearing with us during these months of construction impacts. This work is temporary, but the benefits will last for generations.”
Pure Water Oceanside Project foundation walls in place
The foundational work on the facility located in the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility is complete. Pipelines, electrical conduits, equipment pads/pedestals, and wet wells have been constructed. Prefabricated walls have been installed. Installing the roof and additional wall stabilizing are next on the schedule.
The water purification equipment including pumps, membrane filters, and reverse osmosis canisters are currently being manufactured. Delivery is anticipated between this summer and fall.
Coco Farms Drive and Fireside Park construction update
The two injection wells on Coco Palms Drive are complete. Sound walls will be removed. Construction on two planned monitoring wells is anticipated to begin within the next two months. Sound walls will be installed prior to extended hours construction into evenings and weekends to reduce the impact on the community.
Coco Palms Drive will continue to be closed for the next few months while pipeline construction is underway.
Work on the south side of Coco Palms Drive near the El Camino Real intersection begins this month. Parking in the area will be closed during this work period with “no parking” signs posted.
Monitoring well work in Fireside Park will take place primarily during the daytime, with possible evening and weekend work for critical activities. Sound walls will be installed to reduce noise. Drilling and development is estimated to take six weeks.
El Camino Real recycled water expansion pipeline work coming soon
Pipeline installation work will begin soon to install recycled water pipelines under El Camino Real. Traffic delays are expected and alternative routes are suggested.
Cones will be set up in work zones to redirect traffic from closed lanes and flagger workers will help drivers safely navigate intersections. Regular working hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with occasional work on Saturdays.
Work at the Mission Avenue and El Camino Real intersection will be at night to reduce commuter traffic impacts. Work hours will be from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Oceanside Project benefits both residents and environment
Approximately 90% of Oceanside’s drinking water is imported. Pure Water Oceanside will create three to five million gallons of drinking water each day, enough water to provide 32% of the City of Oceanside’s water supply.
The water purification process uses reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to create safe drinking water. The technology removes pharmaceuticals, chemicals, hormones, microplastics, and personal care products.
The project protects sensitive ecosystems by reducing the amount of water siphoned by imported water sources. It decreases the amount of recycled water discharged into the ocean, and uses half the energy needed to transport imported water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Residents are kept up to date on construction impacts to streets and other infrastructure through several outreach efforts including an interactive construction map, detailed online schedule, regular newsletters, and virtual open house presentations live on the City of Oceanside’s YouTube channel, offering residents the opportunity to ask questions.
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.
During the El Camino Real Potable Water Pipeline Replacement and Green Bike Lane Striping Project, OMWD is replacing 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 are also being replaced.
The two pipelines were originally installed in 1961 and 1974, and were fast approaching the end of their lifespan.
El Camino Real infrastructure project – ensuring water supply reliability
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.
“OMWD has a robust water loss prevention program in place which reduces costs associated with water loss and emergency repairs in addition to conserving one of our most precious resources,” said OMWD Board Director Christy Guerin. “This project is a big undertaking, but it is absolutely important to the health and safety of the community.”
Bike lane striping reduces inconvenience to residents
“OMWD and the city work closely together to find opportunities like these where we can streamline projects and reduce the inconvenience they may cause to residents,” said Guerin, who is also the vice chair of the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors and former Encinitas mayor and councilmember.
Bike lanes included in El Camino Real infrastructure project
The pipeline replacement is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The City of Encinitas’ green bike lane portion of the project will begin at that time.
The green bike lane portion of the project 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.
Olivenhain Municipal Water District is implementing the lane restriping portion of the project on behalf of the City of Encinitas as an efficiency measure, which is taking place concurrently with the pipeline replacement project.
Collaboration on infrastructure improvements
The two agencies have 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.
“These improvement projects are important for the continued success and safety of the surrounding areas,” said Encinitas Councilmember Joe Mosca. “We understand that anytime you are working in the road, especially in high-traffic areas, there can be traffic and noise impacts. That is why the City of Encinitas and OMWD are working together closely to minimize the time we need to be out there and keep any impacts to the public at a minimum.”
At the start of the project, Encinitas requested that work be done at night to further reduce traffic impacts. During the stay-at-home order, work could be completed during daytime hours due to significantly reduced traffic levels. However, as traffic has returned to normal levels, the City requested work hours be shifted back to overnight.
Olivenhain Municipal Water District officials continue to work closely with Encinitas officials to monitor the project’s impact on traffic on a week-by-week basis and modify the schedule as needed. Both public agencies and the project contractor Teichert Energy and Utilities Group continue to adapt and respond to opportunities to mitigate impacts to the surrounding community while maintaining efficiency.
Project updates are on the water district’s website.
The City of Encinitas and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District are working together on a project that keeps water supply and traffic flowing.
To prevent water main breaks and ensure reliable service to its customers, Olivenhain Municipal Water District is proactive in its repair and replacement of aging water infrastructure.
Year-long construction project underway
In early April, OMWD began construction to replace aging water infrastructure along El Camino Real in Encinitas. The work marks the start of the El Camino Real Potable Water Pipeline Replacement and Green Bike Lane Striping Project. Construction is expected to last about one year.
During the project, OMWD will replace 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 will also be replaced.
The two pipelines being replaced were originally installed in 1961 and 1974, and are approaching the end of their lifespan.
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that there more than 240,000 water main breaks in the United States every year. The main breaks waste over two trillion gallons of treated drinking water, but also interrupt water service to homes and businesses, and require costly and disruptive emergency repairs.
After OMWD’s pipeline work is complete, the City of Encinitas will implement traffic calming measures and improve safety and mobility for bicyclists along North El Camino Real from Encinitas Boulevard to Leucadia Boulevard by restriping and narrowing travel lanes.
The work will include adding bollards to existing bike lanes, applying green color to some areas on the bike lanes, and additional signage and pavement markings will also be installed.
OMWD will implement the lane restriping portion of the project on behalf of the City of Encinitas, which will take place concurrently with the pipeline replacement project.
Coordination minimizes impact on residents and businesses
The two agencies have combined efforts to maximize operational efficiencies and to reduce impacts to area residents and businesses.
Originally, OMWD’s project was scheduled to begin in 2021. Encinitas Council Member Joe Mosca and OMWD Board Treasurer Larry Watt identified the opportunity to streamline the two projects, maximizing efficiencies and minimizing impacts to the community. Because the City’s project had a deadline for grant funding, the two agencies ultimately decided it would be more efficient to advance the timeline of OMWD’s project.
“El Camino Real is a major thoroughfare and any work done there needs to be executed with maximum care and efficiency in mind to keep impacts to businesses and residents low,” said Larry Watt, OMWD board treasurer. “By coordinating the pipeline replacement project with the City’s project, the community can enjoy a continued safe and reliable water supply and improved road safety with the least disturbance possible.”
Environmental responsibility and safety
“The City of Encinitas is continuing its track record of environmental responsibility by making our streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians through the Active Transportation Enhancing Project,” said Encinitas Councilmember Joe Mosca. “The City’s partnership with OMWD on this project highlights the benefits of collaboration between neighboring public agencies on critical infrastructure projects.”
Coronavirus pandemic helps minimize impact on traffic management
In addition to the partnership, OMWD has taken steps to minimize the impact of the project on residents and businesses along North El Camino Real. A City-approved traffic management plan will be implemented during construction. All work was originally scheduled to be completed at night to minimize traffic impacts.
As a result of the reduced traffic from the statewide stay-at-home order, the agencies adapted hours in April to 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The change allows work to be completed more efficiently and safely.
Olivenhain will work closely with the City to monitor the project’s impact on traffic on a week-by-week basis and modify the schedule as needed along with project contractor Teichert Energy and Utilities Group while still maintaining efficient operations.
OMWD anticipates a single shutdown of water service for most businesses/residences, kept as short as possible. Project updates are posted on its website. Email questions to or call 760-632-4235.
Encinitas, CA—Olivenhain Municipal Water District will begin construction to replace aging water infrastructure in El Camino Real the week of March 23. To reduce traffic impacts, all work will take place at night, between 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday.