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Planning Group Hears About Huge Storage Reservoir

A full complement of 15 members of the Valley Center Community Planning Group Monday, meeting via Zoom, took up several items, all of them informational, rather than voting items. 

They listened to a report by Kirk Whitaker of the San Diego County Water Authority on the Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir that will be constructed over the next couple of years on a location formerly occupied by a much smaller water tank once owned by the Valley Center Municipal Water District.

The SDCWA is the big agency that sells water to Valley Center. It was created by an action of the state legislature in 1944 and provides most water in the county, selling to municipalities. 

Drinking Water Reservoir

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir to Improve Water Reliability

The San Diego County Water Authority is gearing up to construct a 2.1 million-gallon drinking water reservoir on the Valley Center Pipeline to enhance service reliability throughout the region. The Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir project in northern San Diego County is part of the Water Authority’s Capital Improvement Program.

Construction work is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and is estimated to be completed in the winter of 2022. The project includes demolition of an abandoned steel tank, and construction of a new 2.1 million-gallon concrete reservoir, isolation vault, and underground flow control facility, as well as other site improvements.

New infrastructure development by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies ensures the delivery of water to support the region’s $245 billion economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents.

Hauck Mesa-Storage Reservoir-infrastructure

The Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir will temporarily store drinking water pumped from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant. Graphic: San Diego County Water Authority

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir

The new storage reservoir will improve water deliveries by temporarily storing drinking water pumped to the Valley Center Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District, Vista Irrigation District, and the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant. The stored water will safeguard water deliveries from unanticipated water interruptions or pump station outages.

“This project is just one of the infrastructure improvement projects the Water Authority is undertaking to fulfill the agency’s mission to provide a safe and reliable water supply for today and the future,” said Kirk Whitaker, the Water Authority’s project manager.

The Water Authority will work closely with the Valley Center community, Valley Center Municipal Water District, and homeowners to minimize short term construction impacts in the area to ensure safe, uninterrupted water service. For more information on the Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir project, go to the Water Authority’s Future Projects webpage.

Supervisors OK Park Land Purchase, Set Hearing for Valley Center Preserve

San Diego County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to increase the size of a recreational area in a South Bay community, and set a hearing on a Valley Center preserve addition. The board approved spending $1.07 million on 2.75 acres for the county- owned Otay Valley Regional Park Trail, located on the east side of Heritage Road and south of Main Street in Chula Vista.

A firefighter prepares to access the Meadowlark Reclamation Facility as part of confined space training drills conducted with the Vallecitos Water District. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Recognized for Best Safety Practices

Vallecitos Water District was among 16 California water agencies honored by the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority with the H.R. LaBounty Safety Award.

Vallecitos won its award for its Confined Space Rescue Training coordinated with several regional fire agencies in November 2019.

Vallecitos Water District wanted to heighten safety awareness and improve procedures in its confined space entry and rescue during real-world situations. It took on a high level of coordination to bring in fire department personnel to conduct 12 days of joint training.

Firefighters are briefed on scene at the Meadowlark Reclamation Facility as part of confined space training drills conducted with the Vallecitos Water District. Photo: Vallecitos Water District safety practices

Firefighters are briefed on scene at the Meadowlark Reclamation Facility as part of confined space training drills conducted with the Vallecitos Water District. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

As a result of training, personnel were able to reduce potential hazards conducting entry into confined spaces, perform personnel rescues, and better manage hazardous materials present (gaseous chlorine).

“Because of our program, Vallecitos Water District and fire department personnel were able to increase interoperability and familiarity of each others’ technical rescue equipment,” said Trisha Woolslayer, risk management supervisor.

Safety award promotes safe water workplace practices

Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Dawn McDougle, Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Matt Wiese, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators II Chris Deering, Ivan Murguia, Arturo Sanchez, and Marc Smith, Safety Technician Anette Longville, and Public Information Officer Alicia Yerman were recognized for their roles in organizing and conducting the training. All 13 members of the Vallecitos Water District Wastewater Collection System Crew participated in the training.

Fire department crews participating were from the cities of Carlsbad, San Marcos, Del Mar, Vista, Escondido, Oceanside, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Valley Center, and crews from North County Fire (Fallbrook), San Pasqual, Rincon, and Camp Pendleton.

The H.R. LaBounty Safety Award Program is designed for all JPIA members as a way to promote safe workplace behavior and operations practices while rewarding those employees who demonstrate safe behavior, take part in recognizable proactive activities, or participate in risk-reducing actions. It gives members another way to foster a safety culture that reduces the potential for losses.

The Ramona Municipal Water District and the Sweetwater Authority were also recognized among state water agencies for their safety initiatives.

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No “Dark Water” in Valley Center

Last weekend a film called “Dark Water” opened in theaters, starring Mark Ruffalo as a corporate man who discovers that his company is responsible for putting bad chemicals into the public water supply. Predictable drama ensues.

The plot of “Dark Water” centers around the harmful human and animal health effects of PFAS and PFOS.