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Marine Corps Air Station Miramar embarked on a water conservation program about a decade ago and, through a $6 million investment, decreased its potable water use by more than 40% since 2007. (Left to right: Mick Wasco, MCAS Miramar Utilities & Energy Management Branch Head; MCAS Miramar Commanding Officer Charles B. Dockery; Gary Bousquet, Water Authority Deputy Director of Engineering). Photo: Water Authority

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Receives Water Efficiency Award

The San Diego County Water Authority today presented its 2019 Water Innovation & Efficiency Award to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for significantly reducing its overall potable water use.

The reduction was achieved through a successful water conservation program and new infrastructure for distributing reclaimed water. The award was announced at the Industrial Environmental Association’s 35th Annual Environmental Conference at the San Diego Convention Center.

The award is part of the Water Authority’s Brought to You by Water outreach and education program, and an effort to recognize water-efficiency investments among the region’s top industries and organizations in conjunction with the IEA.

Shared history in the region

“The Water Authority shares a unique history with our military – we were created in 1944 to deliver imported water supplies to support our troops and communities at the height of World War II,” said Jim Madaffer, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “San Diego County has the largest concentration of military personnel in the world, and we are very proud that they are so committed to water efficiency and preserving our most important natural resource as they carry out their mission to protect our country.”

As one of the largest Marine Corps Air Stations and with more than 12,000 civilian Marines, contracted employees, service members and their families aboard the base, MCAS Miramar plays a crucial role in the San Diego region and in supporting our nation’s strategic defense. To that end, MCAS Miramar has and will continue to use unique and innovative solutions to maximize its resiliency, and lower dependence on natural resources. MCAS Miramar is a water customer of the City of San Diego.

“We are committed to implementing sustainability practices and principles that enhance training opportunities, sustain our incredible quality of life in San Diego County, and preserve the natural environment,” said Captain Matthew Gregory, director of communications for MCAS Miramar. “We are honored to receive this acknowledgement of the good work we are doing at Miramar in a region that has made such incredible strides in improving water-use efficiency.”

Investment in a multifaceted conservation program

MCAS Miramar embarked on a water conservation program about a decade ago, and through a $6 million investment, MCAS Miramar decreased its potable water use by more than 40% since 2007.

In 2015, the commanding officer formed a water conservation board tasked with reducing the base’s overall potable water use. The base now has a total of more than 5 miles of reclaimed water distribution systems, an increase of 47% from two years ago. This reclaimed water infrastructure as well as other water efficiency projects has allowed the base to save more than 100 million gallons of potable water each year.

Reclaimed water at the base is now being used for irrigation, construction-related activities, dual-plumbed buildings, street sweeping and soon for evaporative cooling. In addition, MCAS Miramar converted all aircraft and vehicle wash racks to isolated recirculated water systems, conserving 75% of the water used to wash essential equipment.

Bringing industrial environmental leaders together

“MCAS Miramar is a prime example of efforts by our region’s largest employers to make the most of every drop of water,” said Jack Monger, CEO of IEA. “I’m confident that our members will continue to develop innovative water-saving practices and technologies.”

The Water Authority’s Brought to You by Water program, developed in partnership with its 24 member agencies, was designed to bolster regional appreciation for the value of safe and reliable water supplies. That effort includes enhanced partnerships to highlight the importance of water reliability to the region’s economy.

Major Water Pipe Running from Temecula to Chula Vista Shut Off to Fix Crack

Several engineers will spend the next few weeks 20 feet underground fixing a crack in a large water pipeline that spans almost the entire length of San Diego County.

The San Diego County Water Authority discovered a leak earlier this month in a portion of its 90-inch Pipeline 4, which has carried water since 1966 from the Skinner Water Treatment Plant near Temecula down to the Otay Reservoir near Chula Vista.

“We have very old, aging infrastructure so we’re always keeping tabs on things to make sure we can stay ahead of any failures or issues with our pipe,” said SDCWA Principal Engineer Brent Fountain.

Brewing Month 2019-Water Authority-RB

Craft Beer Industry Economic Impact in San Diego Rises to $1.2 Billion

As the nation’s “Capital of Craft,” San Diego County is home to more than 150 breweries that boast nearly 6,500 local jobs. In 2018, the regional craft beer industry produced $1.2 billion in economic impact, according to a report by California State University San Marcos and the San Diego Brewers Guild.

California has more operational craft breweries than any other state in the country. As of January 2019, 155 independent craft brewers were operating in San Diego County.

The regional economic benefits generated by the industry would not be possible without the safe and reliable water supply that the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies deliver to the region every day.

Craft Beer Con highlights importance of water efficiency

As part of an ongoing partnership with the Brewers Guild, the Water Authority sponsored the 2019 Craft Beer Con industry event at CSU San Marcos. Dozens of industry professionals attended the event to network and see the release of the new economic findings.

In addition to the $1.2 billion in economic impact in 2018, the report showed that San Diego brewers produced 1.13 million barrels in 2018. The industry also had a philanthropic impact, donating an estimated $5 million to regional nonprofits. Overall, the industry’s economic impact grew 6% since 2017.

“Beer can be 90-95% water,” said Jeff Stephenson, a principal water resources specialist at the Water Authority. “Water is essential to every step of the process, not only for the final product, but for cooling, packaging and cleaning.”

Stephenson was part of an expert panel at Craft Beer Con, discussing water-use efficiency in brewing, the continued partnership between water agencies and the region’s growing craft beer industry.

Regional investments in a clean and reliable water supply

Regional investments in water infrastructure have paved the way to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply that can sustain industries like the craft beer industry and fuel San Diego County’s $231 billion economy.

Water-use efficiency technology and equipment have also helped brewers streamline production and reduce their water costs while producing high quality products.

The craft brewing industry and those who work closely with it have a positive outlook.

In a survey that CSU San Marcos conducts each year, participants showed high confidence in the industry, with interests in increasing hiring and investments and confidence that production and distribution volume will continue to grow.

Pipeline relining is an efficient technique that extends the lifespan of pipes while minimizing costs and impacts to nearby communities. Photo: Water Authority

Innovative Pipeline 5 Relining Completed

San Diego County Water Authority crews completed relining a segment of Pipeline 5 in Fallbrook and San Marcos in late July, reaching a milestone in a strategic, multi-decade pipeline relining program. The 2.3-mile segment of Pipeline 5 was relined with new steel liners that are planned to last for more than 75 years.

The proactive pipeline relining program is a crucial part of asset management efforts that improve the reliability of San Diego County’s water supplies.

30-year pipeline relining program

Since the relining program began in 1991, nearly 47 miles of pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe have been rehabilitated. This constitutes more than half of the total PCCP in the Water Authority system. The remaining 35 miles are expected to be rehabilitated by 2027.

The Pipeline 5 project was conducted in eight segments to minimize impacts to the nearby communities of Fallbrook and San Marcos.

Proactive measures to protect infrastructure

Pipeline relining is an efficient technique used on long stretches of pipelines. It involves inserting new steel liners into the existing pipes. The new liners can extend the lifespan of the pipe by several decades.

“Relining our existing pipes is quicker and more cost-effective than excavating, removing and replacing an entire pipeline,” said Gary Olvera, senior construction manager at the Water Authority. “In partnership with our member agencies, the Water Authority has developed an efficient and proactive plan to ensure continued water supply reliability for the entire region.”

New steel liners can extend the lifespan of a pipe by several decades. Photo: Water Authority

New steel liners can extend the lifespan of a pipe by several decades. Photo: Water Authority

Innovative technique to minimize impacts

To access Pipeline 5, crews excavated dirt to create eight 25-foot by 60-foot access portals spaced roughly 525 to 2,500 feet apart. During construction, crews eliminated two of the originally planned portals, helping save more than $217,000. Most of the work was then performed underground, inside the pipe.

Once the new liner was installed, the joints were welded together. Then, each new steel liner was coated with a cement mortar lining. Finally, the portals were backfilled, the pipeline was disinfected, and the pipe was put back into service.

A welder works inside the pipe to connect the new joints. Photo: Water Authority

A welder works inside the pipe to connect the new joints. Photo: Water Authority

Maintaining regional water supply reliability

Large-diameter pipelines operated by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies extend approximately 310 miles to convey water throughout San Diego County.

Approximately 82 miles of the pipelines are pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipes. These types of pipes were installed between the early 1960s and late 1980s and some are nearing the end of their service life.

By relining the pipes ahead of time or conducting timely repairs with the latest technology, the Water Authority and its member agencies avoid pipeline failures and improve the reliability of future water supplies.

OPINION: Modernizing Water Infrastructure Is Crucial To Achieving California’s Energy Goals. Here’s Why

The Colorado River, the State Water Project (SWP) and groundwater are where California gets its water. And all three are at risk, requiring significant investment and changes in current practices if water quality and reliability are to be maintained. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, guided by the steady hand of the state’s Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot, offers a ray of hope. But the rest of us need to help. We share the water in the Colorado River with six other neighboring states and Mexico, and it supplies up to 50 percent of Southern California’s water.

Trenchless technology allows the Vallecitor Water District to effect repairs without digging up streets. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Trenchless Technology Saves Ratepayers Time, Money, and Inconvenience

A method of replacing sewer pipe without digging or removing the old pipe – trenchless pipe repair – is saving Vallecitos Water District ratepayers money and reducing traffic delays. It’s another example of how water agencies in San Diego County are tapping cost-effective technology.

The district is using the trenchless method to extend the life of its service pipelines while avoiding the disruption of excavation trenches and traffic rerouting around work areas on public streets. Instead of digging the pipeline up to replace it, the sewer line is rehabilitated from inside the pipe. This trenchless technology method increases the efficiency and the service life of the pipe without having to replace it; eliminating paving, reducing traffic interruptions, as well as saving the District and in turn its ratepayers money.

“Traditional installation methods cause such a disruption to customers daily routine, so we’re really lucky when this type of project presents itself to the District,” said Jason Hubbard, a senior engineer with the district. “Our residents are going to have a much better day without navigating a large construction zone – they can also be quite noisy and dusty. Bottom line, everyone’s happy.”

Avoiding disruption to customers from trenches and traffic rerouting

By avoiding the need for exacation, streets can be kept open and functioning while work progresses. Photo: Vallecitos Water DIstrict

By avoiding the need for exacation, streets can be kept open and functioning while work progresses. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Pipeline integrity can be lost due to a combination of many factors such as missing pieces, cracks, pinholes, offsets at joints, and root intrusion. Numerous methods, technologies and practices are used by water agencies to ensure pipeline integrity.

The Vallecitos Water District works to find innovative technologies to ensure continuing water, wastewater, and reclamation services to a population of 103,000 residents within its 45-square-mile service area. There are 358 miles of water pipelines and 276 miles of sewer pipelines in the VWD’s 45-square-mile service area, serving more than 103,000 residents. The pipelines are designed, built, and operated to be safe, reliable, and sustainable to achieve pipe integrity. This means ensuring a pipeline and all its related components are running properly, no small task.

“We constantly work to maintain a reliable sewer conveyance system by utilizing a plethora of innovative and cost-effective technologies,” said Hubbard.

Trenchless technology also results in cost savings

Trrenchless technology is also cost effect in addition to being less disruption to customers. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Trrenchless technology is also cost effect in addition to being less disruption to customers. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

VWD employed two types of trenchless rehabilitation methods, cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) liners and spiral wound liners to maintain District pipes. CIPP liners are epoxy saturated felt tubes, which are inserted into the existing pipe, then cured and hardened by steam. There are no joints or seams. Spiral Wound Liners use an above groundwinding machine to feed interlocking PVC profile into an old pipe.

Both methods result in a new “pipe within a pipe.” Little to no digging is involved in this trenchless process, making for a less disruptive and more cost-effective method than traditional “dig and replace” pipe repair methods. The liner can be inserted using water or air pressure. Liner technology is particularly effective in hard to reach areas, such as easements. For projects along residential and business streets, the trenchless method reduces disruptions and impacts to businesses and neighborhoods.

This technology helped the Vallecitos Water District to rehabilitate 1,595 feet of sewer pipe. The district plans to rehabilitate another 2,300 feet in 2020. Sections of critical infrastructure were rehabilitated at an affordable price due to the CIPP and spiral wound liner options. No sewer laterals were cut, and work was done without a sewer bypass. The project was completed with a savings to the District of $37,000 under the estimated budget. The lining part of the operation took less than three hours.

READ MORE: Innovative Relining Program Reduces Cost, Extends Pipeline Service

 

FPUD is embarking on a number of prevention, maintenance and improvement projects to safeguard and maintain its pipes and infrastructure. Photo: Fallbrook PUD

Fallbrook PUD Goes With the Maintenance Flow to Provide Reliable Service

Water pipeline blowouts like the one the day before Thanksgiving 2017 at the intersection of Stagecoach Road and Ranchwood Lane in Fallbrook provide periodic reminders about the realities of aging infrastructure.

Preventing these type of emergencies is the driving force behind planned shutdowns at water agencies such as the Fallbrook Public Utility District; investments today will avoid similar emergencies and unplanned water outages in the years ahead.

Many of FPUD’s pipes are more than 50 years old. A pipeline’s life can be 80 to 100 years, but many of the early lines that were installed were not put in at today’s standards and have shorter lives.

In fact, some of the early pipelines installed in the area were originally excavated from March Air Force Base in Riverside County and re-installed in Fallbrook, said FPUD general manager Jack Bebee. Many of these pipelines have reached the end of their useful lifespans.

That’s why FPUD is embarking on a number of prevention, maintenance and improvement projects to safeguard and maintain our pipes and infrastructure. Waiting to fix them after they break isn’t the most cost-effective and convenient way to operate.

“We’re trying to prevent a continued Band-Aid approach,” said Bebee.

Proactive approach prioritizes greatest need first

The shutdowns and retrofits are part of FPUD’s proactive approach to pipeline and valve replacement. By identifying pipes that are in the worst condition, the agency is prioritizing those needing to be replaced first, resulting in fewer pipe failures, blowouts and spills.

As part of its ongoing maintenance program, FPUD has refurbished six of its eight steel tanks over the past several years. It is also working on systematic valve replacement covering the entire community area. Valves are a critical component of water and sewer system infrastructure to limit the size of any shutdown.

Annually, the district also replaces or relines sewer manholes and sewer lines. Some of the manholes date so far back they are made of brick. Only FPUD’s sewer customers pay for sewer improvements, and only water customers pay for water improvements.

All FPUD construction work will be on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., with an exception for projects that disrupt businesses. Those projects may be scheduled overnight. FPUD customers will receive both a letter and phone call if the planned shutdown will affect their water service.

FPUD posts regular updates to its website at www.fpud.com and on its Twitter account, @Fallbrook water

Residents can also visit the FPUD Facebook page for other water-related updates.

 

Fallbrook PUD Goes With The Maintenance Flow To Provide Reliable Service

Water pipeline blowouts like the one the day before Thanksgiving 2017 at the intersection of Stagecoach Road and Ranchwood Lane in Fallbrook provide periodic reminders about the realities of aging infrastructure. Preventing these type of emergencies is the driving force behind planned shutdowns at water agencies such as the Fallbrook Public Utility District; investments today will avoid similar emergencies and unplanned water outages in the years ahead. Many of FPUD’s pipes are more than 50 years old. A pipeline’s life can be 80 to 100 years, but many of the early lines that were installed were not put in at today’s standards and have shorter lives.

California’s Water Works An Engineering Wonder That Made The Golden State What It Is Today

California — without a doubt — has the most intricate and massive water storage and transfer system man has ever created. It is the largest, most productive, and most controversial water system in the world that harnesses nature using man’s ingenuity. At its northernmost reaches it captures the snow run-off of the Modoc Plateau — volcanic highlands in northeast California and southeast Oregon — that is drained by the Pit River, Snow blanketing the hills of the Modoc Plateau today will melt in the coming weeks and start a long journey in the form of water. The journey’s end for water — that makes it that far — are faucets and water taps in San Diego less than a mile from the border of Mexico.

OPINION: Reject Latest Effort To Undermine Needed Local Water Projects

Infrastructure projects that secure California’s future are being pursued every day in our great state. For better or worse, California is known to have the toughest environmental review laws in the nation with its CEQA framework that can impact these projects. CEQA has been roundly criticized over the years given the extent of its requirements and the legal challenges it allows — killing or delaying good projects that could create well-paying jobs and needed affordable resources for working families. In recent years, the Legislature, recognizing the impediment CEQA can be to needed infrastructure, has moved bills that try to reform CEQA or that grant exemptions from it.