Recycled water pipeline completed in Encinitas, Calif.

(UI) — The Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) has announced the completion of a new recycled water pipeline in North County.

Source: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The completion of the 1.4-mile recycled water pipeline will enable OMWD to deliver recycled water to schools, businesses, and other customers along the Manchester Avenue corridor. The drought-resilient water source will be used for irrigation and will offset the demand of imported drinking water by more than 27 million gallons per year.

“Every drop of recycled water used on our landscapes replaces a drop of imported drinking water,” said OMWD board president Christy Guerin. “With the ongoing challenges we’re facing on the Colorado River, expanding our recycled water distribution system to convert more customer irrigation systems to sustainable, local supplies is of paramount importance.”

Congressman Mike Levin attended the celebration along with representatives from Senator Catherine Blakespear’s office and Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath’s, as did local agency partners San Diego County Water Authority, San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, and the City of Encinitas.

“Creating a water system that is not dependent on imported supplies is vital for the long-term sustainability of the region,” said Congressman Levin. “Every project that expands the use of recycled water lessens our dependance on imported supplies and improves our resiliency to future droughts. The collaborative approach taken by neighboring agencies to complete this project is an exemplary way to strengthen the region’s infrastructure.”

“Recycled water projects are becoming a critical tool in the fight against drought,” Senator Catherine Blakespear said. “This project is a great example of how water agencies can work together to lessen our dependance on imported water supplies and create a more sustainable water supply portfolio.”

The new pipeline is an element of the larger North San Diego County Regional Recycled Water Project, a collaborative effort among nine North County agencies that coordinate across jurisdictional boundaries. The recycled water being delivered through the new pipeline is produced at San Elijo Joint Powers Authority’s water reclamation facility.

“This project further expands the reach of our local recycled water system and makes drought-proof water for irrigation available for Encinitas’ schools, churches, and greenbelts,” said Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz, “and it’s a great example of local agencies working together to develop cost-effective solutions for our residents.”

OMWD has aggressively sought grant funding for the pipeline project to make it cost-effective for ratepayers. The efforts have been successful, with OMWD achieving $1,350,000 from California’s Department of Water Resources for two separate segments of the pipeline. Additionally, the pipeline is part of a suite of OMWD recycled water projects included in the North San Diego County Regional Recycled Water Project that was awarded $23.9 million in funds from the US Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program.

OMWD serves up to 15 percent of its overall demand from recycled water and continues to identify additional ways to make recycled water available to eligible customers. In addition to recycled water efforts, OMWD is working on an additional project to construct a brackish groundwater desalination plant to further diversify supplies and provide ratepayers with a local source of drinking water. These supply projects, combined with conservation efforts, will help to ensure that OMWD customers will have the water they need during future droughts.


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