Water board gives up on Bargar plant

By Karen Brainard

After about four years of working with third party firms and spending approximately $380,000, Ramona Municipal Water District directors have agreed to no longer pursue a plan to bring the out-of-service Bargar water treatment plant into operation for use as a water source in emergencies.

The Bargar plant was closed in 2007 when it could not meet new requirements and the board at that time determined it would cost too much to bring the plant to required standards. Because water to the Bargar plant would be gravity-fed from Lake Sutherland, which the city of San Diego owns, RMWD board members saw Bargar as a possible source for treated water in times of emergencies. The district’s water is pumped up 1,000 feet from the Poway pump station, which relies on power from SDG&E.

RMWD Assistant Manager David Barnum brought the item before the board at its Sept. 27 meeting with estimates from Southwest Water, the firm that the district has been working with. Those estmates showed that if Bargar was operational, the cost of treated water would be about three times the amount charged by the San Diego County Water Authority.

Additionally Lake Sutherland only has water seven out of 10 years, the proposed plant would only be able to supply half of the current demand for treated water and, depending on the severity and nature of the emergency, water might still not be available.

A clarifier sits idle at the 37-year-old Bargar water treatment plant. The plant has not been operational since 2007. Sentinel photos/Karen Brainard

Director Darrell Beck said he was disappointed that the district would not be able to have the gravity-fed water and in Southwest Water, which “led us to believe they could do this at a reasonable price. This doesn’t solve the problem…we need to think about our supplying the community with water in the future, because we’ve had several of these close calls and I think we need to start thinking about the next one.”

Although board members discussed tearing down the plant, which is on district-owned property, General Manager Ralph McIntosh said the site is still used as a lab for testing water.

Related posts:

  1. Water board debates future of Bargar water plant
  2. Board OKs $350,000 to design Bargar face-lift
  3. Funding for water district projects still in question
  4. Water board opposes package treatment plant for Montecito Ranch
  5. Water board adopts budget calendar

Short URL: http://www.ramonasentinel.com/?p=6348

Posted by Maureen Robertson on Oct 4 2011. Filed under Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Water board gives up on Bargar plant”

  1. I.P. Freely

    The consultant didn't mislead the District, your management did. This was their agenda all along. They failed to include the electrical cost to pump water to Ramona in the cost analysis and included other costs that weren't valid. Sutherland will have water 100% of the time with the new agreement with the City of San Diego. The people you put in charge have done a disservice to the community and you need to start questioning why everything is discussed behind closed doors and why they are being so secretive about EVERYTHING. After this last power outage and the 2007 fires, Bargar would have provided a reliable, cost effective, local supply, but the only competent and honest people that know this at RMWD have left in disgust or are being threatened with the loss of their jobs if they speak out.

  2. Sack "Em"

    Wow. Sounds like Mr. Freely is a disgruntled employee or at least knows of one. Seem to think they know to much by info that he has just offered up. I believe I read that the district has a new general manager by now. If not maybe will have soon. Maybe this would be the opportunity to start with a clean slate! Sack "Em".

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