Category Archives: Vallecitos Water District

A Message from the District Regarding Lead Testing

A message from SAN MARCOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Good afternoon San Marcos Families,

As you may have seen in the media, there was a drinking fountain that was recently removed from San Marcos Middle School after it was discovered to have a higher level of lead than is considered safe.

It is critical to San Marcos Unified to ensure that the water used by our students, staff, and community is safe.  In addition to having the water tested at all of our school locations, we also wanted to provide information to our community regarding the steps leading up to this action.

What resulted in San Marcos Unified School District conducting tests at three District schools?

Following the event in Flint (Michigan), The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) amended the permit for all public water system in California in order to mandate free lead testing in schools, if requested by the school district.

While not required, Vallecitos Water District notified the District of this new mandate from the SWRCB.  The mandate became effective in January 2017.

Why did the District choose to test Alvin Dunn Elementary, Richland Elementary, and San Marcos Middle School?

In 1986, the use of lead solder was banned from use in joining copper pipes.  These three schools were originally constructed prior to 1986.  All other schools in the District were constructed or renovated after 1986.

What are the measurement standards?

The current standards followed by the Vallecitos Water District were developed and implemented by the United States EPA in 1991.  The standards state that the Action Level (AL) for lead is 15 ug/L.  This is defined to mean “micrograms per liter” or “parts per billion”.

The Department of Drinking Water regulations state that any results at 15 ug/L or less are considered safe.

What were the results of the tests conducted?

At Alvin Dunn Elementary, five samples were collected.  All results were below the 15 ug/L Action Level.

At Richland Elementary, five samples were collected.  All results were below the 15 ug/L Action Level.

At San Marcos Middle School, five samples were collected.  Four results were below the 15 ug/L Action while one sample was above.

What does this mean and what did the District do?

It is important to note that the water received from Vallecitos Water District meets current standards and regulations.

In this instance, the sample from a fixture (drinking fountain) at San Marcos Middle School had a higher level greater than 15 ug/L.  When the District was notified of the results, the fixture was removed from service.

The District is also making arrangements to have additional tests conducted at other locations at San Marcos Middle School.

Have there been any illnesses reported due to this drinking fountain?

No.  There have not been any reports of illness that are due to or can be traced back to this drinking fountain.

What can I do if I’m worried about my child having lead poisoning?

You can contact the California Department of Public Health – Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 619-692-8487. The best recommendation we can offer is to take your child to their general physician for blood tests.

HEAVY RAINS CAUSE WASTEWATER OVERFLOW IN CARLSBAD

HEAVY RAINS CAUSE WASTEWATER OVERFLOW IN CARLSBAD

Carlsbad, CA – Earlier today, the Vallecitos Water District experienced a wastewater overflow near Carillo Way and Melrose Drive in Carlsbad.

Vallecitos crews were first notified of the spill at around 9:00 a.m. this morning. A customer discovered the spill and contacted the City of Carlsbad, which then notified Vallecitos. Upon arrival at the site, Vallecitos crews immediately worked to repair the pipe and divert the wastewater to a nearby wastewater manhole. The use of portable pumps and strategically placed sandbags helped to reduce the amount of wastewater that flowed to an adjacent seasonal creek.

When the spill first occurred this morning, an estimated 300 gallons per minute of wastewater spilled out of the pipe. By 1:10 p.m., crews had stopped all flow to the creek to protect the environment. Due to the excessive amount of groundwater in the area making the repairs difficult, the estimated time to complete the repairs is unknown at this time.

The cause of the spill was a broken 16-inch gravity fed wastewater line, which is believed to have failed due to excessive flows from the recent storm which released 3.24* inches of rain in Carlsbad. During large rain events, rainwater can flow into the sewer system in various ways, including:

  • Illegal sewer connections, such as rain gutters that are plumbed to sewer cleanouts instead of into the gutter;
  • Saturated soils that can seep groundwater into the sewer system;
  • Entry holes and/or seals around manhole covers.Although the broken pipe is normally fed by gravity, it was under some pressure as it is connected to the main pressurized wastewater outfall pipe that leads to the regional wastewater treatment plant in Carlsbad. Vallecitos crews are researching why the section of pipe failed.

No Vallecitos customers were affected by the spill. The proper agencies have been notified by the District. Vallecitos crews have posted signs from the spill site at the creek to the beach in Carlsbad, where the Batiquitos Lagoon releases to the ocean and where human contact may be possible.

* Data obtained from NOAA – National Weather Service San Diego

Vallecitos Board of Directors Declares Drought Over

Vallecitos Board of Directors Declares Drought Over

Last night, the Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors voted to rescind the voluntary drought restrictions under its “Level 1 – Drought Watch.” Vallecitos customers may irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes for as many minutes as needed. However, the Board continued to express their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life. Vallecitos’ ordinance permanently prohibits wasteful practices, such as:

  •   Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  •   Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
  •   Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
  •   Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
  •   Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery
  •   Restaurants only serving water on request

Vallecitos’ resolution was taken in response to the San Diego County Water Authority’s action on January 26, 2017, declaring the drought over in San Diego County. Neither the Water Authority nor Vallecitos are experiencing supply shortages due to drought. The San Diego region has invested approximately $3.5

billion over the past three decades to increase regional water supply reliability, including upgraded conveyance systems, additional water storage capacity and seawater desalination. Vallecitos has a direct connection to the desalination plant in Carlsbad and obtains more than a quarter of its annual supplies from this drought proof source.

Vallecitos met its mandatory savings target after the state imposed emergency regulations in 2015 to achieve the governor’s goal of an overall 25 percent cut in urban water use. In May 2016, the state updated its emergency regulation to a water supply “stress test” methodology that took actual levels of local supply reliability into account. Under that system, Vallecitos has sufficient supplies to avoid shortages even if it experiences three more dry years.

“Due to the record-setting winter precipitation in the Northern Sierra, coupled with heavy local rainfall and a significant snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin, we are able to rescind Drought Response Level 1 – Drought Watch,” said Vallecitos Board President, Craig Elitharp. “We applaud our customers’ efforts to conserve water and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.

 

About Vallecitos Water District: As an independent, special district, Vallecitos is dedicated to providing water, wastewater and reclamation services to approximately 97,000 people in a 45- square-mile area that includes San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; portions of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista; and other surrounding unincorporated areas. The public is invited to Board meetings, taking place at 5 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at Vallecitos’ Administration Building – 201 Vallecitos de Oro, San Marcos. Board meetings are also televised on San Marcos TV. Visit www.san-marcos.net/smtv for a complete programming schedule.

Water theft in San Elijo Hills

Per the HOA this person was stealing water from the hydrants in San Elijo Hills. Residents should call the Sheriff if they see any unmarked vehicle like this taking water. This incident was reported to HOA and authorities.

Glenn Pruim Appointed as General Manager of the Vallecitos Water District

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San Marcos, CA – The Vallecitos Water District (VWD) is pleased to announce that after a nationwide search with over 50 applicants, the VWD Board of Directors has appointed Glenn Pruim as its new General Manager. Mr. Pruim replaces Dennis O. Lamb, who retired last June.

Glenn Pruim received both his Bachelors and Masters of Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. A registered engineer in Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Glenn Pruim has an extensive background in public works, engineering, and water and wastewater operations. During his ten years at the City of Carlsbad, he served as City Engineer, Public Works Director and General Manager/Utilities Director of the City’s subsidiary, Carlsbad Municipal Water District. Further, he functioned as lead negotiator with Poseidon Resources and the San Diego County Water Authority for the Carlsbad Desalination Project. More recently, Mr. Pruim worked for the City of Encinitas and San Dieguito Water District as Public Works Director/General Manager, where he concurrently held titles of: City Engineer, Public Works Director, San Dieguito Water District General Manager, Encinitas Sanitary District General Manager and Cardiff Sanitation District General Manager.

“We are excited to have Glenn join us,” said Vallecitos Board President, Mike Sannella. “After a nationwide search we selected the ideal candidate: a General Manager with skills in drinking water, desalinated water, recycled water and wastewater collection—and also one who knows and understands California’s water woes as well as the local North County community.”

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join Vallecitos as the General Manager. In my previous positions with Carlsbad and Encinitas, I have worked side by side with Vallecitos on water and wastewater issues and have always been impressed by their leadership and professionalism. I’ve also been a Vallecitos’ customer for the past 14 years and have received excellent service.”

Glenn Pruim and his wife Jeanne live in San Marcos. They are parents to five sons. Mr. Pruim officially started his new duties on November 21, 2016

SAN ELIJO HILLS RESIDENT RUNNING FOR VALLECITOS WATER BOARD

wayne

Wayne Ludwig and his wife Cindy have lived in the San Elijo Hills area of San Marcos since 2002, both working for the Department of the Navy. Wayne currently serves the Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) Region Safety and Health Program Director, providing myriad opportunities to serve the interests of federal, state and local government personnel and taxpayers.

Wayne is running for a seat on the Vallecitos Water Board, Division 5 this November. His 33 years working for the Department of the Defense and Department of Navy have led to an extensive amount of training and education in many disciplines and areas of Public Works operations.

If elected, Wayne’s intentions are to unify the Water Board, provide proactive leadership and reestablish trust and accountability to the board, Vallecitos employees and all rate payers. His plan is to arrest all favoritism, bias and unfair practices that currently plague the board and rate payers. “I am running for election because as a rate payer, and given the present fractious nature of the Board, there are myriad problems I can help fix,” he stated. “Furthermore, the present Board has granted unnecessary and very questionable favors to developers, which only serve to degrade and diminish the future of the Vallecitos Water District.”

You can find out more by visiting his website at wayneludwig.com or via email at Ludwigfw@gmail.com

*San Elijo Life Editors note-This is not an endorsement and we welcome campaign statements from all candidates.

Vallecitos Board of Directors Denies Proposed Rate Increases

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Votes 3 to 2 to Pass-Through a Portion of the Wholesale Water Increase Only 

San Marcos, CA — On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the Vallecitos Board of Directors did not approve the proposed rate increases. Instead the Board voted to keep the current rate structure and to limit water rate increases to half of the current increase in wholesale water rates to be effective January 1, 2017. There will be no change to the ready-to-serve charge, pumping charge or the sewer service charge. The wholesale water rate pass through will equate to a $0.46 cent per unit increase ($5.52 for the average single family user per month). The average single family uses 12 units of water per month. One unit of water is 748 gallons.

A Notice of Public Hearing was mailed to all account holders of the Vallecitos Water District in accordance with Proposition 218 notice requirements. The notice advised District customers of the Public Hearing on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, and of proposed changes to the water rate structure, water commodity rates, ready-to-serve and sewer service charges. Proposed rate changes in the 218 Notice were based on recommendations from a Cost of Service Study (COSS) prepared by consultants Black & Veatch. The Board of Directors considered written protests in response to the 218 Notice and heard public comment from interested parties.

Over the years, the Board of Directors and staff have worked diligently to reduce expenses, thereby minimizing the need for large rate increases. Starting in fiscal year 2013 and extending through 2019, employee concessions result in savings of approximately $1.3 million. Additionally, the District refinanced bonds in July 2015, saving $3.4 million over the life of the bonds. Further, the District agreed to purchase less expensive water from the Olivenhain Municipal Water District saving $201,000 since October of 2015. Finally, in the current budget, the District cut and deferred $4.1 million from the Proposed Budget.

Vallecitos Water District to Host Blood Drive

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Vallecitos Water District to Host Blood Drive 

San Marcos, CA — To help combat summer blood shortages, Vallecitos Water District is hosting a community blood drive on Thursday, August 11, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The blood drive will be held in the District’s parking lot located at 201 Vallecitos De Oro in San Marcos.

The need for blood in San Diego and around the country remains constant. In San Diego alone, nearly 400 pints per day are needed for area hospitals.  However, during summer months, inventories often decrease when regular donors take vacation and schools are on break.  This is why Vallecitos Water District is reaching out to their staff and the community, asking for donors to come forward during this critical time.

To schedule an appointment, call the San Diego Blood Bank at 1-800-469-7322 or schedule online at http://www.sandiegobloodbank.org/, using the sponsor code: VWDT.

Blood donors must be at least 17 year’s old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health.  Donors are encouraged to eat a meal prior to giving blood and drink plenty of water.  Photo ID is required at donation time.

Summer 2016 San Elijo Hills Community Association – HOA updates

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Please see below for the most recent San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA) updates:

Movie In the Park- Last Movie of the Summer

The San Elijo Hills Community Association is hosting a FREE showing of Sony Pictures Hotel Transylvania 2 (rated PG) as part of our summer movie series!

Now that Dracula (Adam Sandler) has opened the Hotel Transylvania’s doors to humans, things are changing for the better; however, Drac is secretly worried that his half-human grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing his vampire side. So, while Mavis and Johnny are away, Drac enlists his friends to help him put the boy through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But things really get batty when Drac’s cantankerous, old-school dad (Mel Brooks) pays an unexpected visit.

Hotel Transylvania 2 will be shown on Friday, August 5th at the lower softball field of San Elijo Hills Park. Pre-show activities (including bounce houses, a sticky wall and more!) will begin at 6:00PM and the movie will start at sunset (around 8:15PM). Remember to bring your low-back beach chairs and blankets for lawn seating! A few food trucks will be there and will have a variety of food & refreshments for purchase.

Contact Liz McCardle with any questions at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or call (760) 798-9015.

Vallecitos Water District Ends Restrictions On Outdoor Watering

The Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors recently voted to rescind the mandatory drought restrictions under its “Level 2 Drought Alert” and move to voluntary conservation measures under its “Level 1 Drought Watch,” thereby ending restrictions on outdoor watering. Vallecitos customers may now irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes as long as necessary. However, the Board expressed their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life and adopted a new ordinance permanently prohibiting wasteful practices, such as:

• Visible signs of runoff when watering landscapes
• Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
• Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
• Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
• Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
• Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery

The District’s action was taken in response to the State Water Resources Control Board recently terminating water use reduction mandates and allowing water agencies to set their own water use targets based upon their specific supply conditions. Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, the newly adopted emergency regulation, which is in effect through January 2017, mandates that urban water suppliers act to ensure at least a three year supply of water to their customers under drought conditions.  A thorough analysis determined that Vallecitos has sufficient water supplies for its customers, even if drought conditions continue for the next three years; therefore, the District won’t be subject to state-mandated water-use reductions through January 2017. This is due largely to its customers who saved 25 percent since June 2015 and the fact that Vallecitos now receives a portion of its water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which is a local, drought-resilient supply. “Due to the exceptional conservation efforts by our customers and the foresight of the District to secure desalinated seawater, we are now able to give our customers greater flexibility when it comes to keeping trees, plants and vegetation alive,” said Vallecitos Board President, Mike Sannella. “We applaud our customers’ efforts and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the new permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.

Entry Feature Landscape Renovation

If you have driven through our entrance, you probably noticed the various flags and drying vegetation. This was intentional and for a great reason….a fresh new look!

The Board of Directors recently approved a proposal from O’Connell Landscape to enhance the entry area by opening visibility to the water feature and providing a diverse environment of colorful plants, ground covers, and accents. A rendering will be available soon to homeowners who are interested in seeing the design. Stay tuned!

For more information, feel free to contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or call (760) 798-9015.

Next Board of Directors Meeting: August 29, 2016

The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 8/29/16, 6:00 pm at a different (temporary) location.

City of San Marcos Community Center
3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069 (Dining Room)

See you there!

Artificial Turf Policy

On September 14, 2015 AB 349 was approved by the Governor, and set forth a mandate which prevented homeowners associations from disallowing the use of artificial turf in their communities.
The San Elijo Hills Board conducted a thorough review of the requirements of the law and created the Artificial Turf Guidelines. In accordance with California Civil Code 1357.130, homeowners were provided a copy of the proposed policy for review and comment period.
On June 21, 2016, the Board of Directors met to review all comments made either in-person or in-writing. After careful consideration, the Board adopted the policy with minor changes. A copy of the approved policy will be available to homeowners through the Association’s websites or you may request an electronic copy from Walters Management.
Here are some important highlights!

• Quality product that includes minimum 10 year warranty, 100% recyclable and made in USA.
• Installed in accordance with requirements. Refer to section (C) “Installation”
• Maintained professionally with evidence of service contracts upon request.
• Replaced in its entirety when the color has faded.
• The guidelines allow up to 50% of the landscape area in the front of your house to be artificial turf with restrictions. Side and rear yards are unlimited. Turf cannot directly attach to your front sidewalk. A buffer is needed to soften the look and to make it appear natural.
• The turf has to be of high quality and installed correctly. There are specific requirements for the base, turf, installation and warranty requirements. No rubber fill can be used. Artificial turf that loses 20% of its original color must be replaced in entirety.

The Board of Directors will delegate the review duties for artificial turf to an outside consultant. This decision was made so that a qualified professional is able to review the technical components and installation methods.

The anticipated cost will be $100 payable to the San Elijo Hills Community Association. This would cover the cost to review the information and inspection after installation. As with any changes to the exterior of the home, including artificial turf, plans must be approved by the San Elijo Hills Community Association. If you wish to make changes, please contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or (760) 798-9015 for assistance.

Community Reminders

Clear and visible address numbers are important when it comes to safety. Please check your address numbers and replace any faded or missing numbers. This is a safety concern, which could potentially delay first responders in an emergency response.
It also impacts the general aesthetics of the community and is part of the required maintenance per the Governing Documents.

Paint or stain your fences. Fences should be stained or painted to match the house trim. No red or artificial colors, please. Protect the integrity of your fence while enhancing the look of your home!

_________________

**This website – San Elijo Life is independent from the developer San Elijo Hills Development Company and the San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA). The HOA updates are provided as a service to our readership. …Enjoy Life in The Hills.

Vallecitos Water District Ends Restrictions On Outdoor Watering

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Last night, the Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors voted to rescind the mandatory drought restrictions under its “Level 2 Drought Alert” and move to voluntary conservation measures under its “Level 1 Drought Watch,” thereby ending restrictions on outdoor watering. Vallecitos customers may now irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes as long as necessary. However, the Board expressed their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life and adopted a new ordinance permanently prohibiting wasteful practices, such as:

  • Visible signs of runoff when watering landscapes
  • Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
  • Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
  • Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
  • Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery

 

The District’s action was taken in response to the State Water Resources Control Board recently terminating water use reduction mandates and allowing water agencies to set their own water use targets based upon their specific supply conditions. Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, the newly adopted emergency regulation, which is in effect through January 2017, mandates that urban water suppliers act to ensure at least a three year supply of water to their customers under drought conditions.

A thorough analysis determined that Vallecitos has sufficient water supplies for its customers, even if drought conditions continue for the next three years; therefore, the District won’t be subject to state-mandated water-use reductions through January 2017.  This is due largely to its customers who saved 25 percent since June 2015 and the fact that Vallecitos now receives a portion of its water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which is a local, drought-resilient supply.

“Due to the exceptional conservation efforts by our customers and the foresight of the District to secure desalinated seawater, we are now able to give our customers greater flexibility when it comes to keeping trees, plants and vegetation alive,” said Vallecitos Board President, Mike Sannella. “We applaud our customers’ efforts and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the new permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.

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