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Lake Jennings 2021 Spring Photo Contest Winners Depict Life At The Lake

The theme “Life at the Lake” inspired 61 photographers to enter the 2021 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, held for the 10th year by the Helix Water District. Photographer Johnathan Bradley of Lemon Grove won first place for his image titled “Open Field” and second place for the photo “Sun Star.” Third place went to Jeff Morin for “Ladies On  A Lunch Break.”

Each of the entries highlighted the unique beauty of Lake Jennings activities enjoyed by locals and visitors, including camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife, and enjoying the view.

Helix Water District-Lake Jennings-Winners-Photo Contest

Lake Jennings 2021 Spring Photo Contest Winners Depict Life At The Lake

The theme “Life at the Lake” inspired 61 photographers to enter the 2021 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, held for the 10th year by the Helix Water District.

Photographer Johnathan Bradley of Lemon Grove won first place for his image titled “Open Field” and second place for the photo “Sun Star.” Third place went to Jeff Morin for “Ladies On  A Lunch Break.”

Each of the entries highlighted the unique beauty of Lake Jennings activities enjoyed by locals and visitors, including camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife, and enjoying the view. The contest was open for photos taken between March 1 and May 31, 2021. Eleven entries from March 2020 were included since they were entered before Lake Jennings closed due to the pandemic.

“This year’s contest had photographers from all over the county and even some international participants,” said Kira Haley, Lake Jennings recreation manager. “Our photo contest visitors brought the lake to life through their experiences camping, fishing, watching wildlife, and exploring the many trails and vistas of the lake.”

Adult Category Winners

Johnathan Bradley, "Open Field." Photo: Helix Water DistrictSpring Photo Contest

First Place – Johnathan Bradley – “Open Field”

Second Place – Johnathan Bradley, "Sun Star" Spring Photo Contest

Second Place – Johnathan Bradley – “Sun Star”

Third Place – Jeff Morin, "Ladies on a Lunch Break" Spring Photo Contest

Third Place – Jeff Morin – “Ladies on a Lunch Break”

Honorable Mention – Erik Hyman, "Deep Pier"

Honorable Mention – Erik Hyman –”Deep Pier”

Youth Category Winners

First Place – Aaron De’Souza – "Cacti by the Lake"

First Place – Aaron De’Souza – “Cacti by the Lake”

Second Place – Gabriel Heilpern, "Fishing on the Lake"

Second Place – Gabriel Heilpern – “Fishing on the Lake”

The winning photos are also available on Lake Jennings’ Facebook page and the District’s website.

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Helix Water District Logo Square officers for 2021

Helix Water District Announces 2021 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest Winners

Helix Water District is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, with this year’s first place in the adult category going to photographer Johnathan Bradley of Lemon Grove for his image titled Open Field.

Now in its 10th year, the contest drew 61 entries from throughout the county. This year’s theme was Life at the Lake, and each of the entries highlighted the unique beauty of camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife and enjoying the view at Lake Jennings.

 

San Diego’s Pure Water Sewage Recycling System Ready for Construction With All Hurdles Cleared

San Diego is ready to start building the long-awaited Pure Water sewage recycling system, now that city officials have resolved litigation that delayed the project 18 months and increased its estimated cost to $5 billion, city officials say.

Pure Water will boost San Diego’s water independence by recycling 83 million gallons of treated sewage into potable drinking water by 2035.

All regulatory permits have been secured and construction bids are being opened and analyzed for the 10 projects that will make up Pure Water phase one, a large treatment facility slated to open in 2025 near Miramar that will be connected to many miles of pipeline in the northern part of the city.

Water News Network Top Stories of 2020

The Water News Network top stories of 2020 reflect the San Diego region’s interest in water conservation, the environment and efforts to diversify water supply sources. But the year was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted water infrastructure and operations.

Lake Jennings-

Water News Network Top Stories of 2020

The Water News Network top stories of 2020 reflect the San Diego region’s interest in water conservation, the environment and efforts to diversify water supply sources. But the year was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted water infrastructure and operations.

As one of essential sectors of the economy, the water and wastewater industry took added COVID-19 precautions. The essential employees of the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies worked to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the region’s water supply. In some cases, that meant sheltering-in-place, which employees of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant did in March. For agencies operating multiuse recreational facilities, such as Lake Jennings, the pandemic also caused frequent schedule changes.

To reassure users about the safety of the water supply, the Water Authority and its member agencies shared a series of videos with the public, featuring Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman, to let people know they can “Trust the Tap.”

Top Stories of 2020

COVID-19

Reservoirs and lakes operated by water agencies in San Diego County were closed or had varying schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on recreational facilities in the region was the most viewed story of 2020.

Paddleboarding-Lake Hodges-Coronavirus-Top Stories of 2020

Paddleboarders enjoy Lake Hodges before the City of San Diego closed the lake due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: City of San Diego

Reservoirs, Lakes Remain Closed to Fishing Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Although San Diego County’s lakes and reservoirs remain closed to fishing and other recreational activities for safety reasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, staff and volunteers continue to work. Crews are maintaining facilities, providing security, and sharing photos of wildlife and native blooms enjoying the arrival of spring.

The City of San Diego’s reservoirs and lakes are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city closed the reservoirs to the public on March 18 to protect the public and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The nine water supply storage reservoirs are operated by the City’s Public Utilities Department.

Popular overnight campsites remain open at Santee Lakes, owned and operated by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

“Camper well-being is important to us and Santee Lakes didn’t want to displace people,” said Melissa McChesney, Padre Dam communications manager. She said that includes long-term campers who spent winter at the lake.

At Lake Jennings, Recreation Manager Kira Haley says eight volunteers continue to live and work from their campground homes in recreational vehicles and campers. She said their days remain “pretty typical” even though they see more wildlife and not people.

Environmental Stewardship

COVID-19 played a part in the second most viewed Water News Network story in 2020.

Desalination plant-Top Stories of 2020-intakes

Three new fish-friendly seawater intake pumps commissioned at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, are among the most environmentally advanced intake pumps in the world. The pumps are part of a broader effort to ensure the long-term health of the marine environment near the Plant, which sits on the shores of Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

New Fish-Friendly Seawater Intake Pumps at Carlsbad Desalination Plant

July 22, 2020

New fish-friendly seawater intake pumps recently commissioned  at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant are among the most environmentally advanced intake pumps in the world.

The three intake pumps, manufactured by Indar, are part of a broader effort to ensure the long-term health of the marine environment near the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which sits on the shores of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Installation of the new intake pumps is part of a phased program to replace the existing seawater intake and discharge facilities with state-of-the-art technology to protect marine life that wasn’t available when the plant was operating with source water from the Encina Power Station. The closure of the power station in December 2018 led to temporary intake-discharge operations until the new intake pumps came online. The next steps include adding new intake screens, designed to prevent any sea-life larger than 1 millimeter (thicker than a credit card) from entering the plant.

Desalination Plant-Top stories of 2020-intakes

The new intake screens are the final part of upgrades, which when complete in 2023, will make the Carlsbad Desalination Plant the first desalination facility in California to comply with the 2015 California Ocean Plan Amendment, which is among the most advanced sea-life protection measures in the world. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Essential work during COVID-19 pandemic

The work to complete the construction and commissioning of the new fish-friendly seawater intake pumps was part of the essential work allowed under California guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The contractor, Kiewit–Shea Joint Venture, worked in accordance with guidelines adopted by the State Building and Construction Trades Council and approved by Governor Gavin Newsom for essential construction. The contractor worked uninterrupted to complete the project per the June 30, 2020, deadline set by the Regional Water Quality Control Board without any health or safety violations.

Recycled Water

The groundbreaking for the Pure Water Oceanside project was the third most read story of 2020 on the Water News Network.

Pure Water Oceanside-Top Stories of 2020-water recycling

Construction is underway on the $67 million Pure Water Oceanside project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

First Advanced Water Purification Facility in San Diego County is On the Map

City of Oceanside officials and regional water industry leaders gathered today to break ground on Pure Water Oceanside, the first advanced water purification facility in San Diego County. The $67 million project – scheduled to be completed in 2021 – will purify recycled water sourced from the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

“Today, we put Pure Water Oceanside on the map and are one step closer to achieving the goal of greater water-independence for our city, residents and businesses,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director. “This future-focused project will provide multiple benefits by reusing our water resources to their full potential.”

Pure Water Oceanside-Top Stories of 2020-water recycling

City leaders and water experts placed a giant Google Maps “location pin” into the ground at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility, which marked that the new recycled water project is now officially on the map. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Reducing dependence on imported supplies

The local project will reduce Oceanside’s dependence on imported water by more than 30%. The purification process is inspired by the natural water cycle and reduces the amount of recycled water discharged into the ocean.

The project is partially funded by the Local Resources Program through the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

“The tremendous conservation focus, water infrastructure planning and investment by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies has put our regional supplies in solid standing,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “The mission of providing reliable water supplies to San Diego County can be likened to a puzzle; there are many pieces that fit together to create an overall solution. Our next increment of supply in the San Diego region is from potable reuse projects.”

Water Reuse and Recycling Top Stories in 2020

Other top stories in 2020 covered by the Water News Network included updates on several water reuse and recycling projects, including:

Pure Water San Diego

Construction of Phase 1 of the Pure Water Program is scheduled to begin in early 2021. Phase 1 will include a full-scale, 30-million-gallon-per-day Pure Water Facility that will use the five water purification steps modeled at the Demonstration Facility.

East County AWP

The East County AWP will be one of the first potable reuse projects in California to use new reservoir augmentation regulations. The program will meet up to 30% of East San Diego County’s drinking water demands, almost 13,000 acre-feet of water per year, and eliminate the discharge of 15 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Margarita River project

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 Fallbrook Public Utility District’s water, and virtually all of Camp Pendleton’s water.

Trust the Tap

Lake Jennings Trout Season Opening A Success

Lake Jennings, the Helix Water District reservoir in Lakeside, is one of San Diego County’s hot spots for trout fishing, ranked second in the county by SDFish.com. The 2020 fall trout fishing season got underway on November 20, with enthusiastic anglers enjoying safe outdoor recreation with pandemic precautions in place.

“It’s one of those family activities people can do right now,” said Kira Haley, Helix Water District recreation manager.

A happy Lake Jennings angler shows off his rainbow trout prize during the fall season opening weekend. Photo: Lake Jennings trout season

Lake Jennings Trout Season Opening A Success

Lake Jennings, the Helix Water District reservoir in Lakeside, is one of San Diego County’s hot spots for trout fishing. It ranks second in the county according to the recreational fishing website SDFish.com. The 2020 fall trout fishing season got underway on November 20, with enthusiastic anglers enjoying safe outdoor recreation with pandemic precautions in place.

“It’s one of those family activities people can do right now,” said Kira Haley, Helix Water District recreation manager. “Kids need to get outside and spend time in the fresh air. It was a big weekend; it was really fun.”

Through the opening weekend, Lake Jennings issued 931 permits, including 161 for children, an increase of 10% over 2019.

Showing off a string of rainbow trout along with the beautiful Lake Jennings scenery. Photo: Lake Jennings trout season

Showing off a string of rainbow trout along with the beautiful Lake Jennings scenery. Photo: Lake Jennings

Haley said due to safety measures, the lake staff worked hard to keep lines to a minimum.

“We are only allowing one family into the bait and tackle shop at a time,” said Haley. “One of the first things we did was get a portable register. It allows us to go up and down the line of people selling permits to those who don’t need to come into the store itself.”

Trout arrived last week from Thatcher, Idaho. The 2,500 pounds of fish travel 913 miles in an oxygenated truck to stock the lake.

“The lake is so clear you can see the fish,” she said. “A lot of our fishermen are sight fishing. They can follow a school around the lake and cast before they get there. It becomes more of an exercise activity too.”

Fishing and social distancing go together

Catfish were also biting. This impressive 38-pound catfish was safely released back into the lake. Photo: Lake Jennings

Catfish were also biting. This impressive 38-pound catfish was safely released back into the lake. Photo: Lake Jennings

Fishing is a natural social distancing activity.

“We have five miles of shoreline there’s plenty of space to spread out,” said Haley. “When you’re working with hooks and big fishing poles, you want to stay away from other people.”

Haley praised visitors for their compliance with all safety precautions, which have been in place since July.

“People are being respectful,” she said. “They’re wearing their masks, which makes us so happy. This is allowing us to stay in business and stay in compliance.”

She said all boats, lifejackets and seat cushions are disinfected after every use. Haley said only EPA approved disinfectants are used around the lake.

The lake’s 97 campground spaces are currently booked three weeks in advance for weekend dates.

Nothing tastes quite as good as freshly caught fish prepared on the grill at Lake Jennings. Photo: Lake Jennings

Nothing tastes quite as good as freshly caught fish prepared on the grill at Lake Jennings. Photo: Lake Jennings

The lake remains open for activities, including nature walks and birding from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Night fishing ended November 20 due to California’s 10 p.m. curfew order.  Haley said night fishing might return on a limited basis until 9 p.m. on future weekends. Check the lake’s website for the latest information.

Lake Jennings is more than just a great fishing spot. The lake is also where the Helix Water District stores imported water from the Colorado River and Northern California and local water from Lake Cuyamaca and El Capitan Reservoir to provide safe, reliable water to East County residents.

New Lake Jennings Boat Dock Open

A new floating boat dock at popular reservoir and recreation facility Lake Jennings was unveiled with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 31 and opened to the public for boating and fishing activities.

(L to R): Director DeAna Verbeke, Board President Mark Gracyk, Director and Parks, Land, Lakes and Garden Committee Chair Dan McMillan, Director and Parks, Land, Lakes and Garden Committee ViceChair Joel Scalzitti, and Director Kathleen Hedberg cut the ribbon for the new Lake Jennings Boat Dock on Monday, August 31. Photo: Helix Water District

New Lake Jennings Boat Dock Open

A new floating boat dock at popular reservoir and recreation facility Lake Jennings was unveiled with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 31 and opened to the public for boating and fishing activities.

The dock is reinforced concrete encapsulating a solid polystyrene core, which makes the dock float. Numerous safety features include a nonskid concrete surface, enhanced security fencing and access gate, gangway handrails, and support posts to assist visitors as they enter and exit boats.

The new dock is replacing a wooden dock that, after 25 years, had reached the end of its useful life. Visitors use the dock to rent motorboats, rowboats, kayaks and paddleboats to explore the lake and catch fish.

Video of the new dock

New standard for future improvements at Lake Jennings

“Over the years, we have upgraded our campground facilities, installed new trails, and improved our recreation programs to make Lake Jennings a fantastic East County destination,” said Helix Water District board member and Parks, Land, Lakes and Garden Committee Vice-Chair Joel Scalzitti. “With our recent dock improvements, even more visitors can enjoy everything the lake has to offer.”

The modular dock is easily reconfigured and expanded and features a new, solar-powered dock house, lighting improvements for nighttime operations, shade structure, lockable kayak storage, and additional boat slips.

Visitors use the dock to rent motorboats, rowboats, kayaks and paddleboats to explore the lake and catch fish. The replacement dock is expected to last for generations to come. Photo: Helix Water District

Visitors can use the Lake Jennings boat dock to rent motorboats, rowboats, kayaks, and paddleboats to explore the lake. The replacement dock is expected to last for generations to come. Photo: Helix Water District

“This project is a long-term investment in our lake operations and the community,” said Helix Water District board member and Parks, Land, Lakes, and Garden Committee Chair Dan McMillan. “This is a high-quality dock and it sets the standard for future improvements at the lake.”

The district’s board is in the early stages of evaluating improvements of similar quality at the lake’s campground.

Lake Jennings is one of two reservoirs owned by Helix Water District. It has a water storage capacity of 9,790 acre-feet and is open to the public for boating, fishing, camping, and hiking.

The lake is currently open on Fridays from 3 p.m. to midnight for night fishing, and for fishing and day-use on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The campground – which boasts full-hookup, partial-hookup, non-hookup, and tipi sites – is open daily and accepting reservations. Further information, including COVID-19 safety requirements for visitors, is available: www.lakejennings.org.