Agencies examine recycled water opportunities
By Peter Dugré
Carpinteria’s future could involve treated wastewater being recycled into the groundwater basin, but the system would be expensive. At a joint meeting of the Carpinteria City Council, Carpinteria Sanitary District and Carpinteria Valley Water District on April 18, a detailed analysis of what it might take to add a more reliable water source to the local supply was presented by consultant Robert Morrow of RMC.
The report zeroed in on injection of treated wastewater through a well as the most efficient method of recycling wastewater. “If you put it in your groundwater basin, you’re able to use your existing system to get it to all the same customers,” Morrow said. Other less efficient options would be using recycled wastewater only for irrigating parks or agricultural lands, but injection is most cost-effective and useful, according to the report.
Still, between infrastructure upgrades at the Sanitary District to convert to an advanced treatment plant and piping the treated water to an injection well, capital costs for such a project would total an estimated $21 million. Annual operating costs would be $1 million. Between debt service and operation, the cost would be about $2 million per year.
“I penciled it out; it’s $33 a month added to your water bill,” commented CVWD boardmember June Van Wingerden, who highlighted that water rates are already a point of contention for CVWD customers. Still, at $1,900 per acre-foot, Morrow said the cost would be less than the $2,400 per acre-foot water that will be generated by Santa Barbara’s desalination plant.
In order to execute a recycled water plan, further studies would have to be done and approval obtained by both the California Water Quality Resources Control Board and California Coastal Commission. If the studies were completed, then local agencies would be able to apply for state grant funding that could cover 35 percent of the costs.
“Everyone is doing this right now, so there is kind of a race to get that money,” Morrow said. He recommended that the local agencies hustle to reach the next planning steps in order to get in line for grant funding, which would reduce the cost of recycled water generation to $1,600 per acre-foot.
CVWD General Manager Charles Hamilton stressed that community outreach would be paramount. He cited the Santa Clara Valley, where there is a recycled water system and it took convincing to sway the public of the safety of such a system.
Morrow commented that the water is actually cleaner than the runoff from roads that currently reaches the groundwater basin. Coming straight from the treatment plant, the water would be potable, but once injected into the basin it would take at least six months to hit a tap, over which time the water would be further diluted.
Other concerns about the recycled water system discussed at the meeting were on the sanitary district side of the equation and what would happen when a portion of the water is removed from the effluent, which is discharged into the ocean. “Our primary concern is with the compliance with our discharge permit. Concentrations of salts and other solids change,” said Craig Murray, Sanitary District General Manager. Examining that change would be part of further studies the agencies must consider conducting.
The agencies would have to form an agreement in order to take the next steps toward permitting the plan, and that aspect was not discussed at the April 18 meeting.
Russell Cup produces record performances
Over 50 teams sent athletes to the 97th Russell Cup on April 16, and no individual performer outshone Branden Smith of Paraclete, who now owns the meet record for both the 100 and 200 meter races. For meet host Carpinteria High School, Chance Wright won the day and the Barney Milne Lions Club Trophy for high Warrior point scorer. Wright won the 300m hurdles (41.54 seconds) and was third in the 110m hurdles (15.85).
Also for the Warriors, Jimmy Graves won the pole vault with another personal record of 13 feet, 3 inches. Best finish for the girls was turned in by Gaby Fantone who took second place with a seasonal best of 49.14 in the 300m hurdles. Ava Gropper finished fourth in the varsity long jump (15-07 ½), and Mikela Keefer placed fourth in the 3200m (11:59:05).
For Cate, Joel Serugo won the triple jump 42-10 ¼. It was Cate’s younger athletes, the Frosh/Soph teams that buoyed the school to fourth overall in scoring. Cate girls FS finished second, and the boys FS finished fifth.
Warrior boys varsity finished third, and the school came in ninth in the Grand Sweeps with its combined score.
Smokin’ good fun: KK auction raises funds for kids
Photos by Peter Dugré
Kinderkirk Preschool and Daycare pulled out all the Backyard Barbecue stops at its annual auction on April 16 at Carpinteria Woman’s Club. The event drew a crowd to watch the American Roots band Copper Coast while enjoying expertly grilled meats provided by Los Padres Outfitters and ales by Island Brewing Company. Funds raised at the auction go to the preschool and its youth serving programs.