Tag Archives: water

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.

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.

Governor Appoints CSUSM Adjunct Lecturer from Water Management Program to Bay Area Council

Governor Appoints CSUSM Adjunct Lecturer
from Water Management Program to Bay Area Council

Jerry Brown has appointed Ken Weinberg, who teaches in the Certificate in Water Resources
Management and Leadership Program at CSUSM, to the Delta Stewardship Council.

While this year’s El Nino rains may have temporarily assuaged some drought concerns, water resource management remains a vital part of California’s future. With a disproportionate number of water industry professionals anticipating retirement, a new generation needs to emerge to take a leadership role in this important industry.

Ken Weinberg, who has an extensive background in water management in both the private and public sectors, played an active role in developing the Certificate in Water Management and Leadership program at California State University San Marcos. This professional certificate program is designed to address the growing demand for qualified experts. Now Weinberg’s expertise has been recognized by California Governor Jerry Brown, who recently appointed Weinberg to the Delta Stewardship Council. This group will address water supply and environmental issues in the area around the Bay Delta.

At CSU San Marcos, Weinberg leads the survey course that introduces students to the Water Management and Leadership certificate program. The certificate program seeks to educate and broaden the skills of people currently working in the area of water resources; however, anyone with an interest in learning more about the water issues affecting our state and the world can register for the entry course.

“Leaders in the water industry approached CSUSM and asked us to help develop a program to educate the next generation of water industry experts,” explains Alan Styles, Program Director for the Water Management and Leadership Program at CSUSM. “The complex nature of water, especially in arid Southern California, requires competent and informed leaders who can manage water resources fairly and efficiently. Created by and for water industry professionals like Ken Weinberg, this program offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge and qualifications that meet the needs of the water management industry.”
The Certificate in Water Management and Leadership is designed for individuals who are currently employed in the areas of water supply, treatment, or distribution; those who meet certain basic prerequisites and have an interest in integrated water resource management may also apply. For those who do not live or work in San Diego County, some accommodation is available for remote learning. Recognized industry authorities lead the classes, which are primarily held on weekday evenings to accommodate working professionals. Guest speakers and expert panels as well as weekend field trips to tour facilities are also incorporated into the curriculum. The certificate is awarded upon completion of the five classes, each of which range from 8-15 weeks in duration.

Enrollment is now open for the introduction class beginning March 18 in the Certificate in Water Management and Leadership Program, including the introductory course taught by Ken Weinberg. To learn more about this program or to enroll, call 760-750-4004, or visit www.csusm.edu/el/water.

About CSUSM Extended Learning
As the academic outreach arm of Cal State San Marcos, Extended Learning is a leading provider of professional and continuing education in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties. Offering degree programs, such as a Specialized MBA degree, as well as both academic credit and noncredit professional development courses, Extended Learning helps individuals and organizations achieve their educational and training goals. For more information about Extended Learning at CSUSM please visit http://www.csusm.edu/el/.

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

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.

San Elijo Park Splash Pad will turn on for the Summer

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Beginning Friday, June 17, the City of San Marcos will be turning on public splash pads to offer residents and visitors a place to enjoy water recreation during the hottest summer months.

Moving forward, splash pad hours will be from 10 am to 6 pm from Memorial Day weekend through September 30.

Located at Sunset Park, San Elijo Park, Buelow Park, Mulberry Park and Discovery Lake Park, splash pads are hand-activated water features within the playground that run for a limited time with little to no standing water to create a safe, water recreation destination.

“Thanks to continued water saving efforts this past year both in San Marcos and regionally, we are pleased to announce that one of our most popular summer attractions is returning,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

In addition to splash pads, the City of San Marcos is home to two public pools – Woodland Park Aquatic Facility and Cerro De Las Posas Aquatic Facility – and boasts a comprehensive aquatic program featuring open recreation swim, family swim nights, swim assessments and ability-based swim lessons.

The city continues water conservation efforts with reduced irrigation schedules, converting conventional sprinkler spray heads with high efficiency sprinkler heads, installing drip irrigation, using native and/or drought tolerant plants in new or rehabilitated public space landscaping, retrofitting city buildings with low-flow water fixtures, and conducting landscape irrigation audits.

For more information about city water saving efforts, visit www.san-marcos.net/savingh2o.

To learn more about San Marcos aquatic facilities, splash pads, pool hours and aquatic events, visit www.san-marcos.net/aquatics.

San Elijo Pump Station Ribbon Cutting

San Elijo Pump Station

San Elijo Hills Pump Station

Ribbon-cutting ceremony marking completion of the San Elijo Pump Station that will provide Vallecitos Water District with treatment services from Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s (OMWD) David C. McCollom Water Treatment Plant via an existing interconnection. The pump will allow Vallecitos to pump water from the OMWD Elfin forest area dam and treatment facility to the Vallecitos Water District Stephanie Court tank in San Elijo Hill’s and provide water for San Elijo Hills and Western San Marcos and some of Carlsbad. This will mean that San Elijo Hills is not getting Desalinization water from the Poseidon plant in Carlsbad. Other areas in San Marcos are getting a percentage of it’s water from the new desalinization plant. This local efficiency will help all of North County San Diego.

Under the agreement signed between the two agencies in 2012, Vallecitos Water District  will purchase a minimum of 2,750 acre-feet per year of treatment services from Olivenhain Municipal Water District, roughly the amount of water required to supply 5,500 households.

This partnership is mutually beneficial for ratepayers of both agencies. Vallecitos Water District  will purchase treatment services from OMWD at a lower rate than is offered by regional water wholesalers, reducing the per-unit purchase cost of water. Meanwhile, Olivenhain Municipal Water District will sell surplus treatment services, offsetting water treatment costs, and improve efficiency by running its plant at full capacity.

The San Elijo Hills Pump Station won an Award of Merit for engineering excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

 

State indicates Vallecitos’ water conservation target will be reduced

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State indicates Vallecitos’ water conservation target will be reduced to sixteen percent due to desalinated water connection

The State Water Resources Control Board (State) posted draft adjusted water conservation standards which show the Vallecitos Water District (Vallecitos) will now have a water conservation target of 16 percent. Previously, the State mandated a 24 percent reduction in potable water use for Vallecitos from 2013 demands. The eight percent reduction is based on the fact that Vallecitos now receives up to 4,083 acre feet of desalinated water annually from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant. Vallecitos is currently the only retail water provider that has a direct connection to the Desalination Plant.

Desalinated water is now a major component of Vallecitos’ water portfolio, further minimizing the District’s reliance on imported water and providing customers an increased level of reliability despite drought and other regulatory issues. It now makes up 27 percent of the District’s annual supply and is enough water to meet the needs of more than 8,100 families for one year.

Vallecitos Water District Delivers Desalinated Water

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Vallecitos Water District Delivers Desalinated Water

The Vallecitos Water District is now receiving high-quality desalinated water directly from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, California. The direct connection pipe, located at the corner of Pawnee and Cherokee Streets in San Marcos, will deliver as much as 4,083 acre feet of desalinated water annually to Vallecitos’ distribution system. This equates to approximately 27 percent of the District’s annual supply and is enough water to meet the needs of more than 8,100 families for one year.

Desalinated water is now a major component of Vallecitos’ water portfolio, further minimizing the District’s reliance on imported water and providing customers an increased level of reliability despite drought and other regulatory issues. Vallecitos is currently one of two water providers that have a direct connection to the Desalination Plant.

“It’s exciting to be a major participant in this effort,” said Vallecitos Board Vice President Craig Elitharp. “The Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant in the nation.”

The plant is located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. The facility produces 50 million gallons of water per day from Carlsbad’s Aqua Hedionda Lagoon using a state-of-the-art, reverse osmosis system. To learn more about the Carlsbad Desalination Plant and its operation, visit their website at www.carlsbaddesal.com. Tours of the desalination plant will be available starting in February. To make reservations, sign up at: http://carlsbaddesal.com/visit.

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