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San Marcos residents joined officials including San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, and San Marcos City Councilmember Ed Musgrove; City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Commissioners Danyte Mockus-Valenzuela and Judy Prestininzi; and VWD board members Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, Ph.D, Jim Pennock, and Mike Sannella at Woodland Park to fill new reusable bottles with fresh drinking water at the new fill station. Photo: Vallecitos Water District Wags and Water Festival

Wags and Water Festival Brings Canines and Water Conservation Together

Adoptable dogs and even a few cats found new homes and called attention to new water conservation measures at five San Marcos parks at the first “Wags and Water Festival.” The event was organized by the Vallecitos Water District and the City of San Marcos.

San Marcos and VWD partnered on the new project to encourage water conservation. Five hydration stations have been installed in San Marcos parks to facilitate easy refilling of reusable bottles during outdoor activities instead of using purchased bottled water. Photo: Vallecitos Water District Wags and Water Festival

San Marcos and the Vallectios Water District partnered on the new project to encourage water conservation. Five hydration stations have been installed in San Marcos parks to facilitate easy refilling of reusable bottles during outdoor activities instead of using purchased bottled water. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Residents joined officials, including San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones and San Marcos City Councilmember Ed Musgrove; City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Commissioners Danyte Mockus-Valenzuela and Judy Prestininzi; and Vallectios board members Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, Ph.D., Jim Pennock, and Mike Sannella, at Woodland Park to fill new reusable bottles with fresh drinking water at the new fill station.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 team presented a tracking demonstration of their working dogs. Camp Run-A-Mutt San Marcos assisted at the event.

Seven dogs find new homes

San Diego County dog adoption agencies participating at the event placed seven dogs in new homes. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

San Diego County dog adoption agencies participating at the event placed seven dogs in new homes. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

San Diego County dog adoption agencies participating at the event with adoptable dogs and adoption information included A New Life Rescue, Paws 4 Thought Animal Rescue, and Tragic to Magic and helped call attention to the project. Seven dogs found their forever homes with families who adopted them at the event.

San Marcos and Vallecitos partnered on the new project to encourage water conservation. Five hydration stations have been installed in San Marcos parks to facilitate easy refilling of reusable bottles during outdoor activities instead of using purchased bottled water. Both the City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District are committed to reducing single-use plastics. Each station features a quick-fill mechanism to encourage reusable water bottle use alongside a regular water fountain spout.

Allie Uribe with her new puppy, Patsy. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Allie Urabe with her new puppy, Patsy. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Grant funding benefits the community

The hydration station project received $25,000 in grant funding from the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to cover the purchase and installation of the stations, and educational signage informing the public about the benefits of tap water over bottled water. The signage also offers several additional steps people can take to conserve water.

In addition to Woodland Park, fill stations are available at Mission Sports Field Park, Bradley Park, Connors Park, Buelow Park, and Woodland Park.

Both the City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District are committed to reducing single-use plastics. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Both the City of San Marcos and the Vallecitos Water District are committed to reducing single-use plastics. San Diego County Water Authority staffers Emily Rose (L) and Vadim Livshits (R). Photo: Vallecitos Water District

According to the Water Footprint Calculator, it takes 1.5 gallons of water to manufacture a single plastic bottle holding 16 ounces of drinking water. All plastic drinking bottles are made from new plastic material, so there is no recovery due to recycling.

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

Standing Room Only Crowd Sounds Off About Detachment Proposal

Local residents spoke out at a packed standing room only town hall meeting last week about a proposal by the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Rainbow Municipal Water District to switch water suppliers, a change that they are reportng would save ratepayers millions of dollars.

Following years of escalating water costs from the San Diego County Water Authority, averaging 8% per year, FPUD and Rainbow are seeking to change water suppliers – through a process known as detachment – from the Water Authority.

San Diego Remains Afloat Amid Grim Water Scenarios

Some of San Diego’s neighbors to the north are facing tough water restrictions. Others are in dispute over whether to move forward with a big, expensive water project. Meanwhile, levels at some huge reservoirs have never been so low.

The impacts of the yearslong drought on water supplies are growing across the state, as is the dilemma about how to address them.

But not in the San Diego region. That’s been the case for years, but it’s becoming more apparent as the state appears to be taking a more nuanced approach toward water restrictions. Rather than statewide mandatory cuts, California leaders are considering taking into account the status of local supplies.

Water Authority Awarded Patent for Pipeline Inspection Tool

The San Diego County Water Authority has been granted its first ever utility patent for a device that inspects interior sections of water pipelines that are inaccessible or not safe to inspect without expensive specialized gear and training.

Water Authority Operations and Maintenance Manager Martin Coghill invented the tool to save time, reduce costs and improve safety during ongoing aqueduct inspections. The Water Authority’s industry-leading Asset Management Program includes a proactive search for pipeline weaknesses that can be addressed before they become large and costly problems.

Water Authority Awarded Patent for Pipeline Inspection Tool

The San Diego County Water Authority has been granted its first ever utility patent for a device that inspects interior sections of water pipelines that are inaccessible or not safe to inspect without expensive specialized gear and training.

Water Authority Operations and Maintenance Manager Martin Coghill invented the tool to save time, reduce costs and improve safety during ongoing aqueduct inspections. The Water Authority’s industry-leading Asset Management Program includes a proactive search for pipeline weaknesses that can be addressed before they become large and costly problems.

 

Hodges Reservoir Will be Closed for Recreation During Five-Month Project

In the coming weeks, the City of San Diego will begin emergency repairs on the Lake Hodges Dam at the Hodges Reservoir in Escondido outside of Rancho Santa Fe.

During a recent inspection, the city identified areas in the dam wall that require repair and need be sealed. In order to complete the work, the water level of the reservoir needs to be lowered by about 18 feet from its current level to an elevation of 275 feet.

The repair project is expected to continue for an estimated five months.

Utility Patent-Pipeline Inspection Tool-

Water Authority Awarded Patent for Pipeline Inspection Tool

The San Diego County Water Authority has been granted its first ever utility patent for a device that inspects interior sections of water pipelines that are inaccessible or not safe to inspect without expensive specialized gear and training.

Water Authority Operations and Maintenance Manager Martin Coghill invented the tool to save time, reduce costs and improve safety during ongoing aqueduct inspections. The Water Authority’s industry-leading Asset Management Program includes a proactive search for pipeline weaknesses that can be addressed before they become large and costly problems.

Patent for pipeline inspection system

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Patent #US011,293,581 on April 5, 2022, for the Water Authority’s pipeline inspection system, which comprises a body, cameras, support members and light sources to capture high-resolution images of pipeline walls.

Innovation benefits water ratepayers

“This new pipeline inspection tool is a prime example of the Water Authority’s commitment to innovation that benefits ratepayers by saving money and enhancing reliability,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “We have a long history of advancing industry-leading solutions, from state legislation to adopt low-flow toilets in the early 1990s to the nation’s largest water conservation-and-transfer program a decade later to the largest seawater desalination plant on the continent.”

The Water Authority operates and maintains a water delivery system capable of delivering more than 900 million gallons of water per day through 310 miles of large-diameter pipeline, 1,600 aqueduct-related structures, and approximately 100 metering/flow control facilities. It also includes a state-of-the-art water treatment plant, hydroelectric facilities, pump stations, flow regulatory structures, and reservoirs that store water for emergencies and dry years.

Scanny-patent-innovation-

The inspection tool uses commercially available lightweight adventure cameras and lights that are arranged in a unique way on a chassis that moves through pipelines that are 4 to 9 feet in diameter. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

New pipeline inspection tool part of high-tech toolkit

The Water Authority uses a combination of technologies for monitoring pipelines, including electromagnetic scanning, which detects and locates damaged areas within pipeline walls, and real-time acoustic fiber-optic monitoring, which can detect and locate distressed pipelines while they are in service. The technology invented by Coghill is just a small part of an expansive toolkit.

The Water Authority applied for the patent on June 13, 2019, and spent nearly three years completing the complex process. The patent assigns the intellectual property rights to the Water Authority, allowing it to freely use the technology and share it with other water utilities that might also benefit from its use.

The inspection tool uses commercially available lightweight adventure cameras and lights that are arranged in a unique way on a chassis that moves through pipelines that are 4 to 9 feet in diameter, said Coghill, who has worked for the agency since 2013.

Video of “Scanny” from January 29, 2019

High-resolution imaging

“This technology was created in-house out of necessity to improve safety while inspecting steep portions of our aqueduct,” said Coghill. “The array of multiple cameras enables high-resolution imaging, and the unique design keeps the cameras oriented in the correct position relative to the pipe.”

Coghill, who affectionately calls the tool “Scanny,” said the camera array can also be added to any existing pipeline assessment equipment and offers much higher resolution than traditional CCTV. In addition to inspecting unsafe and inaccessible portions of pipelines, the tool’s design means the Water Authority no longer needs to use specialized third-party rope support crews to assist with pipe inspections. A bonus feature of the device is the ability to stitch the video files together for an immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience. He said it’s always fun to take people into the pipe by just putting on VR goggles.

The Water Authority will continue to use its patented technology to benefit water ratepayers and the safety of employees.

The complete patent is posted on the U.S Patent and Trademark Office website: https://bit.ly/3vGEk0I.

underground-tank-mission-trails

New Water Tank in Mission Trails Nearly Complete and Will Soon Disappear

Construction of the new Flow Regulatory Structure II, or FRS II, in Mission Trails Regional Park is nearing completion. The structure is now completely enclosed on all sides and was successfully tested.

Construction crews have started placing soil around the exterior walls to begin burying the structure. In the next three weeks, the roof will be covered so the facility is concealed. Water is expected to begin flowing into FRS II in June 2022.

Mission Trails Regional Park project

The new structure, located in the northwest portion of Mission Trails Regional Park, is part of a San Diego County Water Authority project to upgrade the untreated water system that delivers water to treatment plants servicing the central and southern areas of the county, helping to balance the flow of untreated water. Once in operation, the FRS II will be capable of holding nearly five million gallons of water – enough water to fill seven Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Area will be restored with natural vegetation

Revegetation efforts will begin after FRS II is work is complete this fall. The topsoil was removed and stored onsite and will be returned help restore native plants and vegetation to pre-construction conditions.

Before the project began, 225 pounds of live seed was gathered from within Mission Trails Regional Park and taken to a dedicated nursery. From these seeds, more than 22,000 native plants are being grown and will be planted over a 17-acre area. Once planted, there will be a 120-day plant establishment period followed by five years of maintenance and monitoring to assure successful implementation.

Construction began in March 2020 just as the coronavirus pandemic began. As an essential infrastructure project, construction on the water project continued during the pandemic.

The Water Authority operates and maintains a regional water delivery system capable of delivering 900 million gallons of water per day.

Watch a recent news story about the project nearing completion.

Repair Work on Hodges Dam to Begin

As part of continuing efforts to maintain and invest in City of San Diego infrastructure, repair work starts within the next two weeks on Hodges Dam, at the Hodges Reservoir north of Rancho Bernardo.

“It’s been over a century since Hodges Dam was constructed, and we are making significant investments to maintain this vital asset,” said Alia Khouri, Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

Drought Alert Triggers Irrigation Limits for Inland Water Customers

In observance of growing drought conditions statewide, the Vallecitos Water District has declared new water conservation requirements for thousands of customers in San Diego County’s inland area under a Level 2 drought alert.