Category Archives: Vallecitos Water District

Transparency Certificate of Excellence Awarded to Vallecitos Water District

The Vallecitos Water District received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. California SDLF Public Affairs Field Coordinator, Chris Palmer, and California SDLF Board Member, Jo MacKenzie, were on hand to recognize Vallecitos for completing the essential requirements.

“This award is a testament to Vallecitos Water District’s commitment to both open and transparent government,” said Jim Hernandez, Board President. “The entire District is to be commended for their contributions that empower the public with information and facilitate engagement and oversight.” To receive the award, a special district must demonstrate the completion of essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.

For more than 60 years, Vallecitos Water District has been the community’s water and wastewater specialists, providing water, wastewater, and reclamation services to San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; parts of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista and other unincorporated areas in north San Diego County. The Vallecitos Water District currently serves a population of more than 100,000 within its 45-square-mile boundary.

SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation, and other recognition programs.

 

Vallecitos Water District receives Re-accreditation as a “District of Distinction”

Vallecitos Water District receives Re-accreditation as a “District of Distinction”

San Marcos, CA – On April 4, 2018, the Vallecitos Water District (Vallecitos) was honored for achieving re-accreditation as a “District of Distinction” by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF). This accreditation is designed as a way for districts to highlight their prudent fiscal practices along with other areas important to effectively operate and govern a special district. California SDLF Public Affairs Field Coordinator, Chris Palmer, was on hand to recognize Vallecitos for completing the essential governance requirements. This is the second time Vallecitos has received this biannual accreditation.

“SDLF provides an independent audit review of the last three years of the District’s operations to ensure prudent fiscal practices,” said Neil McCormick, SDLF Chief Executive Officer. The committee members who review the audits are volunteers from the special district community, including district controllers, directors of finance and general managers. SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.

To receive the recognition, Vallecitos’ website must include posting of transparency requirements, including: election procedures and deadlines, posted board meeting schedules and agendas, current District budget, most recent financial audit, and a list of compensation of Board members and staff or a link to the State Controller’s webpage with the data. Vallecitos’ Board of Directors and executive staff must also show proof of educational training in public governance, as well as compliance with ethics and harassment prevention training.

“This award is proof of the District’s commitment to good government,” said Vallecitos Board President Jim Hernandez. “The Board of Directors, along with District staff, are to be commended for their efforts to highlight our prudent fiscal practices and sound policies in the areas of governance, board conduct and transparency.”

Vallecitos Water District Board moves forward with its annual reorganization, naming Jim Hernandez Board President for 2018

Vallecitos Water District Board moves forward with its annual reorganization, naming Jim Hernandez Board President for 2018

San Marcos, CA – At a regular meeting held on Wednesday, December 6 , 2017 , the Vallecitos Water District Board of Directors voted to move forward with their annual reorganization. Jim Hernandez was elected to serve as president and Hal Martin was elected to serve as vice president for 2018.

President Jim Hernandez, Division 2 representative, was elected to th e Board in 2010 . Jim is an architect and small business owner and has lived in San Marcos for over 40 years. After serving in the United States Marine Corps , he attended Palomar College while working locally , and continued his education at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly, Pomona). Jim was a San Marcos Planning Commissioner for 14 years, past president of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos and Palomar College Founda tion. He was a community volunteer on various San Marcos City task force s and community projects , some of which include the Water Ways Taskforce, Ridge Line Ordinance, Creek Street Specific Plan, Chairman of the University District Specific Plan , and the f ounder of the San Marcos Boulevard Christmas Lights. Jim and his wife Barbara have been married for more than 28 years and have four children and two grandchildren.

Vice President Hal Martin, Division 5 representative, was elected to the Vallecitos Board in 2012 and again in 2016. He served as President in 2014. Previously, he was elected to the San Marcos City Council for four terms and a total of 16 years from 1996 to 2012, when he was termed out . He represented the City Council on the League of Californ ia Cities and served on the statewide environmental board for the League from 1996 to 1998. He served on the City’s Planning Commission from 1991 to 1996 and was on the Board of Directors for the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce for three years. Additionally, Hal served as an alternate for the North County Transit District, North County Dispatch Joint Powers Authority and SANDAG . He has also been active with the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos for more than 26 years. Hal is a professional photographer and has owned Focus on U Wedding Photography in San Marcos since 1990. The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce named him Business Person of the Year in 1996.

Hernandez and Martin are joined by three Directors who round out the Vallecitos Board: Directors Betty Evans, Division 1; Craig Eli tharp, Division 3; and Mike Sannella, Division 4. The Board meets regularly the first and third Wednesday of the month at 5 :00 p.m. in Vallecitos’ Administration Building, located at 201 Vallecitos de Oro, in San Marcos. Meetings are open to the public and recorded for viewing on San Marcos television . Please visit www.san – marcos.net/smtv

for a complete programming schedule.

For complete biographies of the Vallecitos Board , go to www.vwd.org/Board

PAVING ON SAN ELIJO ROAD ON OCTOBER 2, 2017 FROM 9:00 AM TO 2:00 PM

PAVING ON SAN ELIJO ROAD ON OCTOBER 2, 2017 FROM 9:00 AM TO 2:00 PM

San Marcos, CA — The Vallecitos Water District is hiring an asphalt repair contractor to repair a portion of southbound San Elijo Road just south of Baker Street/Cooke Street on October 2nd between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. One southbound lane will be closed. Schools, businesses and residents may experience increased truck and equipment traffic, minor traffic delays, lane closures, odors and noise during the work.

For more information and to view the latest updates, go to www.vwd.org or call 760-744-0460.

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

vwd_logo_-_water_wastewater_specialist_logo_2012-2

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

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