Olivenhain Municipal Water District and Leucadia Wastewater District Team up to Conserve Drinking Water
Beginning this week, Olivenhain Municipal Water District and Leucadia Wastewater District are reducing potable water use by switching to recycled water to flush sewer lines in their service areas.
With the recent installation of new equipment by both agencies, recycled water is now available to LWD for sewer line maintenance in the Village Park neighborhood in Encinitas and in the La Costa neighborhood in Carlsbad.
Regular flushing is important for gravity-fed sewer line maintenance. The process involves filling a specialized sewer cleaning vehicle, known as a vactor truck, with water and injecting the water into a sewer main. Flushing the pipes in proper working condition extends their lifetime by removing materials such as grease and roots, which can cause clogs and sewage overflows. Once flushed, a pipeline can be inspected and its condition assessed.
Prior to this project, LWD did not have access to recycled water in OMWD’s service area, instead filling vactor trucks with potable water. LWD identified the opportunity to reduce potable water use and save its ratepayers money, and approached OMWD about creating points at which LWD can fill trucks with recycled water. Five locations throughout Encinitas and Carlsbad were selected.
“It’s a pleasure to partner with neighboring agencies for the common good,” OMWD Board President Ed Sprague stated. “Simple changes such as these add up and help ensure a reliable water supply for future generations.”
LWD’s Board President David Kulchin noted that “LWD is excited to continue its regional partnership with OMWD and that using recycled water to clean sewer pipelines not only saves precious potable water supplies but continues our efforts to utilize renewable resources to the maximum extent possible.”
In addition to sewer line flushing, municipal street sweeping vehicles that were previously using potable water will be able to access recycled water thanks to the new connections. In accordance with state regulations governing recycled water use, the vactor trucks and street sweeping vehicles will have separate filling systems for potable and recycled water.
Approximately 14% of OMWD’s overall water demand is met with recycled water. OMWD produces up to two million gallons per day of recycled water at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility and supplements additional demand with recycled water purchased from Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District, City of San Diego, Vallecitos Water District, and San Elijo Joint Powers Authority.