Construction of New Recycled Water Pipelines Allows OMWD to Reduce Dependence on Imported Drinking Water

Grant funded project will save more than 12.5 million gallons of drinking water per year

Olivenhain Municipal Water District is scheduled to start construction in April on the extension of several underground pipelines within the cities of Encinitas and Carlsbad that will allow the conversion of 28 irrigation meters to recycled water.

The project involves the installation of 5,600 feet of new recycled water pipelines in three different sites within the cities of Carlsbad and Encinitas. Recycled water is locally produced, disinfected wastewater that is used for irrigation, and is not only a drought-resilient supply, but also costs less than potable water. The completion of the project will result in more than 12.5 million gallons of imported drinking water saved every year.

“This project is a great example of the efforts we’re making to ensure the continued reliability of our drinking water supplies while minimizing costs for ratepayers,” said OMWD Board Treasurer Neal Meyers. “Using grant funds to convert more customers to recycled water for irrigation will help ease our dependence on imported drinking water that has become unreliable due to drought and overuse.”

Construction on the first of three phases is anticipated to begin along Calle Barcelona, southeast of Rancho Santa Fe Road in the city of Carlsbad. Work is scheduled to take place Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additionally, restricted work hours of 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday, will be in effect for any work directly impacting Mission Estancia Elementary School. No impacts to customers’ drinking water supplies are anticipated. This phase of the project is anticipated to be complete in summer 2024 and project updates will be posted to  

OMWD was successful in achieving approximately $900,000 in grant funding to make this project cost-effective for ratepayers. Specifically, both the US Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources are contributing grant funds to offset project costs.

OMWD produces up to two million gallons of recycled water every day at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility. Additionally, OMWD is the lead agency of the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition, a group of nine North County agencies that coordinate across jurisdictional boundaries to expand the reach of the recycled water. As a result, OMWD now 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.