San Elijo JPA announces $18.3M project for water treatment upgrades


The San Elijo Joint Powers Authority’s Water Campus is located on Manchester Avenue in Encinitas. (RNT Architects photo)

North Coast Current

A project announced by the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority on Monday, April 3, aims to capture more than 7 million gallons of stormwater per year and redirect pollutants from entering the San Elijo Lagoon, in addition to other water infrastructure improvements.

The $18.3 million project, recently approved by JPA directors, involves upgrades to drainage and water treatment infrastructure in Encinitas, according to a San Elijo JPA news release. Work is slated for 2024 and expected to take 10 months to complete.

Of the funds assigned to the project:

$10.5 million is set for biological treatment improvements at the agency’s Manchester Avenue Water Campus to enhance the effluent quality for ocean discharge and water recycling;

$3.6 million will be assigned to renovate the 3 million-gallon Wanket Tank reservoir to store recycled water;

$2.1 million will go toward capturing and reusing stormwater at the Water Campus;

$2.1 million will go to replace aging pumps and other mechanical components at the Moonlight Beach Sewer Pump Station near Cottonwood Creek at Third and B streets.

About 30% — $5.8 million — of the project’s funding is expected to be covered by state and federal grants, according to the agency.

“The project will capture rain and urban runoff from a regional storm channel, as well as redirect runoff from the 21-acre water campus site for treatment and reuse,” the agency stated in its news release. “The project is designed to capture more than 7 million gallons per year of stormwater and to intercept sediment and other water pollutants from entering San Elijo Lagoon.”

Refurbishment of the Wanket Tank, which is adjacent to the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, will be done in partnership with the Olivenhain Municipal and San Dieguito water districts, according to San Elijo JPA. The work aims to expand availability of recycled water in northern Encinitas and southern Carlsbad.

The Moonlight Beach Sewer Pump Station work will replace key systems and improve its reliability for public health and environmental protection.

Campus upgrades “will optimize the biological treatment process, improve disinfection efficiency, reduce chemical usage and provide the foundational treatment needed for potable reuse,” the agency stated.

The agency treats wastewater and storm runoff and delivers recycled water to customers in Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and parts of Rancho Santa Fe.