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New Video Highlights Olivenhain Municipal Water District Achievements in 2021

In its ongoing effort to keep ratepayers and the community informed, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District produced its first “Year In Review” video report for 2021.

The video showcases key achievements of the District, using an accessible digital video format to share details, images, and key facts with ratepayers through a familiar, trusted online platform posted to the District’s YouTube channel.

New video-Olivenhain Municipal Water District-OMWD-Water quality continues to exceed state and federal standards. In addition, due to preventative maintenance, overall water loss decreased in 2021 at the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District New Video highlights

New Video Highlights Olivenhain Municipal Water District Achievements in 2021

In its ongoing effort to keep ratepayers and the community informed, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District produced its first “Year In Review” video report for 2021.

The video showcases key achievements of the District, using an accessible digital video format to share details, images, and key facts with ratepayers through a familiar, trusted online platform posted to the District’s YouTube channel.

“Most customers are not aware of the numerous projects and developments ongoing at OMWD, so this video is a great way to package all our wins into one place for easy viewing,” said Joe Jansen, OMWD administrative analyst.

Jansen said many of the District’s fiscal accomplishments aren’t readily visible to the public like infrastructure projects.

“Videos are great informational tools to help keep our residents informed of everything we do and to help build trust with us as their water provider,” said Jansen.

Eight achievements highlighted in the video

  1. OMWD received an AAA bond rating from Fitch Ratings.
  2. OMWD received over $3.6 million in refunds to be credited to customers over the next several years. Funds will be added to the Rate Stabilization Fund and applied as a direct credit to customers’ water bills over the next several years.
  3. OMWD achieved over $1.3 million of state and federal grant funds. Funding will offset the costs of important projects for ratepayers.
  4. OMWD continues to receive the highest recognition from industry groups. Awards recognize the District for its fiscal governance and infrastructure projects.
  5. Water quality continues to exceed state and federal standards. In addition, due to preventative maintenance, overall water loss decreased in 2021.
  6. OMWD completed a pilot study on developing a local water supply through groundwater desalination. Results were favorable from the grant-funded project and the District will continue to assess the project’s feasibility.
  7. OMWD completed several replacement and upgrade projects at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility.
  8. Proactive measures were taken to combat the spread of COVID-19. As a result, OMWD had no interruption to customer service and has completed all vital projects during the past year.
In 2021, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District completed several replacement and upgrade projects at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District New Video highlights

In 2021, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District completed several replacement and upgrade projects at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Award finalist in ACWA 2021 Huell Howser Excellence in Communication Award

(L to R) Board member Neal Meyers, GM Kim Thorner, treasurer Christy Guerin, customer service manager John Carnegie, board member Lawrence Watt, and assistant GM Joey Randall receive ACWA's 2021 Huell Howser Excellence in Communication Award.. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

(L to R) Board member Neal Meyers, GM Kim Thorner, treasurer Christy Guerin, customer service manager John Carnegie, board member Lawrence Watt, and assistant GM Joey Randall receive recognition as finalists for ACWA’s 2021 Huell Howser Excellence in Communication Award. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

(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.)

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.

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.)

Water Agency Workers Embrace Holiday Giving

The tradition of generous holiday support by the San Diego region’s water and wastewater agencies flourished again in 2021. Employees pitched in to help a wide array of nonprofit community services.

Holiday giving-City of Poway-donations-holiday giving

Water Agency Workers Embrace Holiday Giving

The tradition of generous holiday support by the San Diego region’s water and wastewater agencies flourished again in 2021. Employees pitched in to help a wide array of nonprofit community services.

This year, the Charitable Giving Committee and Employee Association of the San Diego County Water Authority joined forces to support The Arc of San Diego. The Arc of San Diego serves adults and children with disabilities, empowering them to achieve their goals and reach their maximum potential.

The Arc of San Diego put together an Amazon holiday wish list for some of its clients with various items and brief bios on the recipients.

“Our employees eagerly pitched in to play Santa for these deserving families,” said John Kross, chair of the Water Authority’s Charitable Giving Committee. “It was even more meaningful to us when we learned a little about our recipients from Arc of San Diego. It reminded us what these small acts of kindness mean in the lives of our neighbors during the holidays. Our Charitable Giving Committee and Employees Association have a long legacy of philanthropic support, and we are more dedicated to our efforts than ever since the pandemic made life challenging for so many people.”

Bringing joy to kids and families in need

Sweetwater Authority employees collected toys for a familu through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Workers embrace holiday giving

Sweetwater Authority employees collected toys for a family through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Sweetwater Authority employees have been active participants in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program for nearly two decades, providing toys to children in its service area. Every year, employees take a tag that contains information about the recipient (age, gender, toy request). The employee shops for the item and brings them back unwrapped to the office. The Salvation Army pickups and delivers the donated toys. This year, employees donated enough toys to help make Christmas bright for 20 South County families and kids.

The Helix Water District employee volunteer program, “Helix Helps,” collected toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program at each of its facilities. Photo: Helix Water District Workers embrace Holiday Giving

The Helix Water District employee volunteer program, “Helix Helps,” collected toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program at each of its facilities. Photo: Helix Water District

Each holiday season, the Marine Corps partners with local nonprofits and businesses to collect toys for distribution to less fortunate children throughout the community. The Helix Water District employee volunteer program, “Helix Helps,” collected toys from collection boxes at each of its facilities and donated both in-person and virtually from November 22 through December 16. Under the Helix Helps program, Helix employees, families, and friends volunteer their time to help support the communities the district serves year-round.

The Toys for Tots drive continues virtually. Individuals can shop for toys virtually or donate directly to the Toys for Tots campaign at toysfortotsbox.com

City of Escondido Environmental Programs/Utilities team employees drop off this year's donations Photo: City of Escondido

City of Escondido Environmental Programs/Utilities team employees drop off this year’s donations. Photo: City of Escondido

City of Escondido employees, including the water and wastewater divisions, put together “Souper Sacks,” bags of non-perishable food, and fun surprises distributed through the city’s senior program at the Park Avenue Community Center. This year’s effort brought 292 Souper Sacks. In addition, nearly 300 items included gift cards, toys, blankets, pajamas, and clothing were donated for students and families at the Escondido Union School District by the city’s “PJ Angels.”

(Left to right): Poway employees Alex Limas, Fernando Ramirez, Kathy Clancy, Santa Claus (a seasonal employee), Randy Slusher and Chad Weigel with holiday donations. Photo: City of Poway

(Left to right): Poway employees Alex Limas, Fernando Ramirez, Kathy Clancy, Santa Claus (a seasonal employee), Randy Slusher and Chad Weigel with holiday donations. Photo: City of Poway

The City of Poway’s Water and Wastewater Utilities employees collaborated with the Kiwanis Club “Holiday With A Hero” event to provide more than 100 Poway children with food, blankets, towels, first aid kits, shoes, and toys.

OMWD Engineering Supervisor Steve Weddle and Accountant Tammi Bowman are ready to load up donations from Olivenhain Municipal Water District employees. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

OMWD Engineering Supervisor Steve Weddle and Accountant Tammi Bowman are ready to load up donations from Olivenhain Municipal Water District employees. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Olivenhain Municipal Water District employees are playing Santa Claus for humans and canines alike in 2021. Donations were gathered for a single mom and her four children, two local seniors, and two veterans in its annual Adopt-A-Family effort. Employees also collected a box load of donations for A New Life Rescue, an organization finding homes for abused and neglected dogs in San Diego.

OMWD employees also collected donations in support of the international organization Water For People, a volunteer-based nonprofit working to support disadvantaged communities by providing sustainable, lasting solutions. This winter, OMWD employees raised over $4,669 in donations to help this cause.

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

Manchester Avenue Pipeline Replacement Project Underway in Encinitas

Work is progressing toward completion on the first of two pipeline replacement projects in Encinitas by Olivenhain Municipal Water District.

Replacement of an existing drinking water pipeline is wrapping up at Rancho Santa Fe Road and Encinitas Boulevard, with completion expected in early 2022. The original pipeline was installed in 1961 and was approaching the end of its lifespan. Proactively replacing aging water pipelines prevents leaks and avoids emergency shutdowns.

Pipeline project-Olivenhain Municipal Water District-infrastructure-pipeline replacement

Manchester Avenue Pipeline Replacement Project Underway in Encinitas

Work is progressing toward completion on the first of two pipeline replacement projects in Encinitas by Olivenhain Municipal Water District.

Replacement of an existing drinking water pipeline is wrapping up at Rancho Santa Fe Road and Encinitas Boulevard, with completion expected in early 2022. The original pipeline was installed in 1961 and was approaching the end of its lifespan. Proactively replacing aging water pipelines prevents leaks and avoids emergency shutdowns.

“Water main breaks can waste millions of gallons of treated water while requiring costly emergency repairs,” said Bob Topolovac, Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board director. “That is why this project is critical in ensuring safe and reliable water delivery to our customers.”

To minimize the impact on the surrounding community, construction is taking place mainly at night, except in residential areas where work takes place during the day. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

To minimize the impact on the surrounding community, construction is taking place mainly at night, except in residential areas where work takes place during the day. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Pipelines being replaced include:

  • 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

To minimize the impact on the surrounding community, construction is taking place mainly at night, except in residential areas where work takes place during the day.

Learn more about the project and upcoming work in 2022 in this video

Recycled water pipeline helps reduce drinking water demand

In early 2022, the water district will begin its second project, installing 1.4 miles of six-inch recycled water pipeline under Manchester Avenue and S. El Camino Real. When completed, recycled water will be connected to the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority’s Recycled Water Pipeline and North Plant. It will be part of the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition’s Regional Recycled Water Project.

Homeowner associations, schools, and businesses along the project alignment that are currently using potable water for landscape irrigation will be able to take advantage of this lower-cost, drought-resistant local source of water for irrigation. These new customers connecting to this pipeline will reduce the need for 10 million gallons of potable drinking water per year.

OMWD is coordinating its work with Caltrans to minimize traffic impacts to the Manchester Avenue Corridor. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water DistrictOMWD is coordinating its work with Caltrans to minimize traffic impacts to the Manchester Avenue Corridor. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is coordinating its work with Caltrans to minimize traffic impacts to the Manchester Avenue Corridor. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Multiagency coordination on pipeline replacement

The pipeline will be installed along Manchester Avenue between Via Poco and Tennis Club Drive. Since Caltrans is working at I-5 and Via Poco, the water district is coordinating its work with Caltrans to minimize traffic impacts to the Manchester Avenue Corridor.

Construction is expected to take nine months. The project received approximately $1.75 million in state and federal grant funding, reducing costs for its ratepayers.

Prior to construction in summer 2021, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District hosted a virtual neighborhood meeting. Staff provided project details and steps that will be taken to reduce impacts to the community and sought input from members of the public. Video of the meeting can be viewed here. (NOTE: some of the scheduling information has changed).

The project is expected to be completed in early 2023. Project updates can be found at www.olivenhain.com/projects. For questions or concerns, email or call 760-632-4235.

(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.)

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo landscape design workshops

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Seeks Input on New Director Division Boundaries

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors is hosting a public hearing on December 15 at 5:30 p.m. to gather public input on new director division boundaries.

The hearing is the first of three scheduled hearings at which OMWD will accept input about communities that should be grouped together for the purpose of electing representatives to OMWD’s Board of Directors.

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo landscape design workshops

OMWD Offers Low-Cost Rain Barrels to Help Customers Save Water

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District has partnered with neighboring water districts—San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, and Carlsbad Municipal Water District—to offer discounted rain barrels to area residents this winter.

Rain barrels ordered by January 31, 2022 will be available for pick up at Solana Center for Environmental Innovation located at 137 North El Camino Real in Encinitas.

Fifty-gallon barrels are on sale for $97, with a final cost of $62 after a $35 rebate from water wholesaler Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Rebates on rain barrels and other water-saving measures are available at www.socalwatersmart.com.