District may have backup power for pump station in a year

By Karen Brainard

By this time next year, the pump station that delivers water up the hill to Ramona could have a backup power source for emergencies, according to  Ramona Municipal Water District’s contracted engineer.

“We will have a better idea once design is completed,” Mike Metts told the water board at its Feb. 12 meeting.

Metts, a principal with Dudek Engineering, updated the board on efforts to add natural gas to the district’s Poway Pump Station.

The pumps run only on electricity and when that goes out, as it did during the 2007 wildfires and the 2011 San Diego Gas & Electric blackout, water cannot be pumped up the district’s line to Ramona.

Metts estimated the project cost at $1.9 million.

“We actually expect to come in under that,” he said.

In October 2012, the board approved $100,000 for the project’s Phase 1; Metts said $54,150 of that has been spent so far.

RMWD General Manager David Barnum said adding the second power source is considered a capital replacement so the district would not need voter approval as required under Proposition NN for capital improvement projects with an authorized debt limit of about $2 million. Barnum said the district will be looking at financing options to pay for the gas power, and rates could be impacted. But, he added, because the gas power will be more reasonable to use than electricity at certain times, pumping costs could be reduced.

“The goal has always been to have dual functionality,” he said.

SDG&E has a natural gas line that runs down Espola Road, about a mile from the pump station, which is near Blue Sky Preserve in Poway. According to RMWD, to run a natural gas line to the pump station requires acquiring easements from the following parcel owners: State of California, City of Poway and County of San Diego. The cost of acquiring those easements is estimated between $15,00 and $25,000 Barnum said.

RMWD is also working with  the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, Blue Sky Preserve and SDG&E on the project.

The tentative completion date for design and an environmental review is set for June. Metts said construction would not be able to start until after the bird nesting season ends on Sept. 15.

“I look forward to getting this project done,” said RMWD Board President Darrell Beck.

In other business:

•The board authorized the general manager to execute an agreement with the district’s financial adviser, Fieldman, Rolapp & Association, to determine the best financing options for the pipeline relocation that is required for the county’s San Vicente Road Realignment. RMWD’s part is estimated to cost about $5 million.

•Directors authorized an expenditure of $40,000 to complete  the state’s mandated salt and nutrient management plans that regulate recycled water. Although the plans are expected to cost $80,000, a maximum of $40,000 is available through San Diego County Water Authority grant funding.

•The district received recognition from Association of California Water Agencies/Joint Powers Insurance Authority (ACWA/JPIA) for achieving low accident and property loss claims which brings down RMWD’s insurance rates.

Related posts:

  1. Water district considers natural gas line for pump station in Poway
  2. Water board to discuss power options for pump station
  3. District considers projects to better handle emergencies
  4. Power outage costs water district $17K
  5. RMWD considers financing options for pipeline

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Posted by Staff on Feb 25 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Government, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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