By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

CWA defers Fallbrook projects


Last updated 8/30/2019 at 5:50pm

The Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District are considering detaching from the San Diego County Water Authority, so the SDCWA board has deferred two projects serving FPUD and Rainbow from the CWA’s Capital Improvement Program.

FPUD general manager Jack Bebee, who is FPUD’s representative on the CWA board, abstained from the Aug. 22 vote which was otherwise unanimous.

“I don’t have any objection to deferring it,” Bebee said.

The facilities deferred are the Emergency Storage Project pump stations to provide treated water to FPUD and Rainbow and the Fallbrook 7/Rainbow 14 flow control facility.

“They’re really a benefit to just Rainbow and Fallbrook,” Jerry Reed, CWA director of engineering, said.

The county’s Emergency Storage Project was established in 1996 with construction designated for four phases. The Emergency Storage Project included construction of the Olivenhain Dam, a raise of the San Vicente Dam and interconnections of those facilities to CWA infrastructure and to the City of San Diego’s Lake Hodges reservoir.

The final phase is the North County Pump Stations project intended to provide treated water to FPUD, Rainbow, the Valley Center Municipal Water District and the Yuima Municipal Water District should an unplanned interruption of water deliveries occur.

The North County Pump Stations project involves the CWA member agencies designing, building and operating the facilities. The CWA will pay for the capital costs of the facilities while the member agencies will pay for operations and maintenance expenses. The improvements will allow for day-to-day use as well as for Emergency Storage Project deliveries if needed.

“If you want to talk dollars and cents, it’s a quid pro quo,” Tom Kennedy, Rainbow general manager, said. He is also Rainbow’s representative on the CWA board.

Because the Valley Center and Yuima districts will have their own pump station facilities those will not be impacted by the deferral of the FPUD and Rainbow pump stations.

“Those are separate projects,” Reed said.

Valley Center and Yuima are moving forward with design contracts and environmental review for those facilities.

Should the FPUD and Rainbow pump stations be built water would be delivered to those two agencies from a new Pipeline 4 turnout and meter structure. Pipeline 4 is the sole treated water pipeline on the CWA’s Second Aqueduct. In 2017, Rainbow and FPUD signed a principles of understanding document, and agreements are being developed for the design, construction and operation of those facilities.

“We were almost complete with the design,” Reed said.

Flow control facilities are replaced if they require substantial maintenance due to their age, which is the case with the Fallbrook 4 and Rainbow 7 flow control facilities.

“They were built in the 1950s. They just don’t meet standards any more,” Reed said.

Due to the proximity of the Fallbrook 4 and Rainbow 7 flow control facilities, the plan is to combine the facilities into a single building, and the Fallbrook 7/Rainbow 14 flow control facility would replace the Fallbrook 4 and Rainbow 7 flow control facilities.

The CWA’s Capital Improvement Program budget for fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 included $2.7 million for the Fallbrook 7/Rainbow 14 flow control facility, but in January 2011, the CWA board deferred that project. Construction of the new facility had been planned for fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.

The Capital Improvement Program appropriation for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 for the two projects was $23,253,045. Once a decision has been made whether FPUD and Rainbow will detach from the CWA or stay as CWA members a recommendation to restart or cancel the projects will be brought to the CWA board.


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