Tag Archives: waste water

City of San Diego dismisses UCPG Planning Group Concerns on Pure Water Pipeline

UCCA San Diego

The city has big plans for a water reclamation program known as Pure Water. The final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was recently released and City Council will be voting whether to approve the project on April 10th, 2018   Phase one of this water reclamation project could produce 30 million gallons a day of potable water.  It is hoped that when the entire project is complete, it would provide up to one third of San Diego’s drinking water by 2035.

Phase one of the project is scheduled to be complete in 2021 and cost $1.2 billion.  The entire project is expected to cost $3 billion, of which $2.3 billion would be provided by the EPA in low interest loans to the city of San Diego.  This project serves two purposes:  reducing dependency on imported water; and reducing the amount of solid waste being process at the Point Loma Sewage treatment facility.

The Pure Water project consists of pump stations, pipelines, solid waste recovery, and the water reclamation facility.  The water reclamation processing will take place at a facility just east of 805, between Miramar and Eastgate Mall.  The Morena Pump station will be located just northeast of the I-8/I-5 interchange.  The Morena pipelines will run between the Morena Pump station and the Pure Water plant (NCWRP); to be built under Morena Boulevard, Clairemont Drive, Genesee Avenue, Nobel Drive and Town Center Drive.

This pipeline would have a large pipe (48” diameter) to transport the raw sewage upstream to the NCWRP, and a smaller pipe (30” diameter) to transport the brine/centrate back to the Morena Pipeline.  The pipeline is to be placed along existing right of way of city streets – it will cross several canyons and mesas – requiring pumps to move the sewage up and down the hills between the locations.

The portion of the forcemains that impacts us here in UC is the part that runs north from Clairemont along Genesee, then east on Nobel, and north on Town Center Drive.  Most of the pipeline will be placed by trenching the roadways deep enough to place the 48” pipe and the 30” pipe 5-8’ below the surface, and below existing utilities.  The trench is expected to be 12-16 feet wide and will require lane closures during construction.  Additionally there will be tunnels bored to run the pipeline under San Clemente creek at the Genesee and 52 intersection, and under Rose Creek and the railroad tracks near Centurion Square, and another tunnel under I-805 from the end of Executive.

Of specific concern are the intersections of Genesee and Governor and the corner of Nobel and Genesee.   Genesee and Governor is a critical intersection for South UC.  Governor is the only East West connector for emergency vehicles.   There is also a high risk to encounter contaminated soil from leaking underground gas storage tanks.  Three of the four gas stations at the intersection have active status for leaking underground storage tanks.  If the trenching encounters contaminated soil, additional steps must be taken to handle this soil.  The risk of contaminated dust being generated increases.  This intersection is adjacent to Curie Elementary School, Regency Villas Senior community, All Saints Preschool, and Standley Middle School.  Seniors and children could be at risk if contaminated soil is encountered.  EPA processes would be triggered.

At Nobel and Genesee there are two residential communities on the south side of Nobel that have already had major impacts of construction from the trolley construction and Westfield renovation.   The Westfield residential tower is currently under construction, impacting traffic, creating dust and making noise.  It will not be completed till late 2019 to early 2020.   If it is approved the proposed Costa Verde expansion is also slated to start construction in 2019.   The cumulative impact on the residents from all of this construction was minimized and misrepresented in the final EIR.

The construction along Genesee will be done at night between 9pm and 5am.  It will be between 8:30 and 3:30 on Towne Center between Nobel and La Jolla Village, and between 7:30 and 4:30 on Nobel.

Once the pipeline is under operation there is a risk of rupture or leak of the pressurized sewage.  There is also the risk of noise due to ‘water hammering’ as the pressure changes when it goes up and down the canyons.  And there is a risk of odor at the relief valves.  One of the valves will be just north of Governor Drive.

The local planning group, UCPG, formed a subcommittee to review the draft EIR and submit a response.   The UCPG submitted a letter produced by the subcommittee expressing their concerns about construction impacts and whether it was appropriate to run this pipeline through a residential neighborhood and expressed concern of risk of sewage spill if the pipeline breaks or leaks.  The city dismissed these concerns.   The draft and final EIRs did not present alternative pipeline alignments and the Morena pipeline alignment was not presented to the public till the draft EIR stage.  UCPG proposed several alternative pipeline alignments, including one that the city had studied prior to the draft EIR, which would run under the SDG&E high power lines.  Please see graphic.  The city rejected all alternatives in their final EIR.

The Morena Pipeline is scheduled to commence construction in April 2019 and last through October 2021. The Final EIR is available on the city’s website at https://www.sandiego.gov/water/purewater/purewatersd/reports


Notice of Public Hearing: On April 10, the San Diego City Council is scheduled to hear the case for approving the City’s Pure Water Project at 2:00 pm (Council Chambers, 12th Floor, 202 “C” Street). UCCA, UCPG, and UCCF have all voiced opposition, not to the project itself, but to the sewer pipe alignment along Morena Drive, Clairemont Drive, Genesee Avenue,  Nobel and Town Center Drive. 

Those unable to attend the hearing may express support or opposition to this issue before the date of the hearing and decision by City Council. All communications will be forwarded to the Mayor and Council members. To ensure that Council Members receive your comment before they vote on April 10, email or fax by end of day April 9.

Your Ecological Footprint

footprint

Sustainability is becoming more and more popular in our culture today. The term sustainability as defined by the Bruntland Report in 1987 (the first definition) is, “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Since 1987, we have developed far from just having a definition of sustainability. We have the resources and technology to measure and predict our use of nonrenewable resources. We also have the means to understand that humans are destroying our Earth at a rate so quickly that it cannot keep up or even recover.

Each human creates an ecological footprint that determines how our waste and energy use impacts the earth. There are so many ways that humans create their footprint without even recognizing it; by eating more meat, by buying new clothes regularly, by owning a home that has running water… these are just a few ways that we impact the Earth. If you’d like to see your individual impact on the Earth by figuring out your ecological footprint, check out the Global Footprint Network’s footprint calculator at http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/.

Here are some tips to reducing your ecological footprint:

1) Eat less meat and buy more produce from local farmers

2) Use less water in your home and buy water-saving products

3) Use more public transportation and carpool often

4) Dispose of trash properly and recycle all reusable materials

5) Look into supporting your home with renewable energy like solar power

One way that you can reduce your water use is to buy a whole-house filtration system that doesn’t waste water. Filtercon Technologies has created a revolutionary system that reuses backwash to recycle water. Check it out at http://www.filtercon.com or call 800-550-1995 for more information.

Source:

http://www.footprintnetwork.org

Image:

chargerbulletin.come

The Cost of Saving Water in California

What happens when we start saving more water during this seemingly never-ending drought? Rates for water increase. In a fixed-cost industry, the price of water increases when low supply equals high demand. “If you want to buy water on the market this year, the price is 10 times higher,” says Timothy Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies.

But the districts, who are selling the water directly to these households and businesses, have no choice but to do so. The Union Tribune explains it like this, “If you sell less of something, you must cut costs, boost prices, or do both to balance the budget.” This cut hurts during a time when business and homeowners are working hard to use less H2O. Water consumers in San Diego County (and the rest of the state) have been not only meeting, but exceeding state-mandated water reductions. Some residents believe that the price increase is unfair and that officials should find a way to keep them down.

And the increase in prices won’t stop here. Next year, San Diego county officials proposed to raise prices 17%. In San Diego, the monthly price for a family of four using 50 gallons of water per person per day is $49. So this price will go up about $8 for a family in this situation, making their water bill $58 a month. To make matters worse, San Diego residents get higher bills due to the fact that California gets most of its water from pipelines and aqueducts in Northern California and the Colorado River. The longer the distance for water to travel, the more it costs due to delivery costs and vulnerability to water deliveries.

Although it’s frustrating to save water at a time like this, there’s not much we can do. To help save water, you should buy a water-saving filtration system for your home. To find out more, visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995.

Sources:

Higher Water Bills Likely. San Diego Union Tribune. 27 July 2015. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/27/tp-higher-water-bills-likely/

Image- waterwealthproject.com

MIT Finds Way to Reuse Water from Fracking

fracking oil

Fracking, or the process of extracting oil from underground reservoirs, takes a lot of time, money, and water. But humans are extremely dependent on this technique because it brings out a natural resource that fuels transportation methods that we use in our everyday lives. Cars, buses, trains, and planes are just a few of the ways we get around that use oil as fuel. So how can a process that is so important still be so inefficient? Fracking wastes millions of gallons of water per year, water that could be reused for other purposes.

So why isn’t it being reused? Because when water is pressurized down into the ground to extract oil, it becomes contaminated and deemed “brimy”. This type of water is discarded into deep injection wells and new, clean water is bought to continue the fracking process.

Oil Rig

Luckily a company that works with MIT has come up with a genius process to reuse some of these million gallons that are wasted every year. This company, called Gradient Corporation, has created a cost-effective process to treat brimy oilfield water for reuse. Depending on the location and type of fracking, carrier gas extraction (CGE) or selective chemical extraction (SCE) is used to clean the brimy water. Carrier gas extraction heats produced water into vapor and condenses it back into water without contaminants. In selective chemical extraction, chemical reactions remove specific contaminants. Both processes are effective, easy to use, and will save millions of dollars annually for fracking companies.

Reusing water is important, especially at a time when the West Coast is in a severe drought. It is important that every person does their part in helping to save water and save our environment. There are so many ways that you can save water, but one important way that also improves your health is to buy a water filtration system for your home that reuses backwash water. Think of it as your own system, like fracking, that can normally waste backwash water. Filtercon Technologies has developed a system that does just the opposite; reuses that water for other purposes while still purifying the water that goes into your home. Want to know more? Visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995.

Source:

Toward Cheaper Water Treatment. MIT News. July 15, 2015. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cheaper-fracking-water-treatment-0716

Images:

1) wkms.org

2) huffingtonpost.com

How San Diego is Saving Water during the Drought

Last week the San Diego community received the 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report handbook. In it contains information about where the city’s water is sourced from, how the water treatment process works, how the city is diversifying our water, and how the city is moving towards more sustainable practices.

By 2035, the city of San Diego plans to have 1/3 of its drinking water supplied through a program that purifies recycled water. It is planned to produce about 15 million gallons of water for the city each day. The technology used to do so requires membrane filtration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light, and hydrogen peroxide. The city tested this method through a one-year project using 9,000 water quality tests and daily monitoring to ensure that no contaminants were present in the recycled water. The California Department of Public Health and San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the recycled water purifying process as it met all federal and state drinking water standards.

San Diego is also exploring ways to use groundwater basins to provide water storage, capture rainwater for recycling purposes, and implement an ocean desalination plant to produce desalinated water for use throughout San Diego County.

The 2014 Water Quality Report also states that the city has been mandated to reduce its water use by 16% as a whole. They are asking residents and businesses to identify where they can most save water and give tips on the best ways to do so. Some of these include: only watering your lawn two times per week, putting low-flow heads on your faucets and showerheads, and evaluating your pipes for possible water leaks. They are also urging residents to use the City’s Public Utilities Department website, wastenowater.org, for water-saving resource guides.

Are you wasting water throughout your home? Filtercon Technologies is a full-line water treatment company. They have whole-house water filters that don’t waste water, save you money, and keep you healthy! They are one of the most trusted water filtration systems in the state, and work mostly by referral. Check out their site, http://www.filtercon.com. Or call for more information at 800-550-1995.

Source:

The City of San Diego 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. City of San Diego Public Utilities Water & Wastewater. 2 July 2015.

Image:

kidscures.org

What Is Your Filtered Water Dispenser Doing For YOU?

Many cities, including San Diego, treat their water to kill off harmful bacteria and parasites. What many people don’t know is that impurities such as copper, aluminum, pesticides, and other toxins can still remain in the water even after being treated. Along with these impurities, city water usually doesn’t taste very good. The reason is because chemicals such as chlorine used during the water treatment process attempt to remedy these problems, but give the water an unpleasant taste. For this reason, many people purchase filtered water dispensers to further purify their water. Filtering dispensers help in eliminating these impurities and can also make the water taste better.

Water Dispenser
Research shows that a filtered water dispenser will save you roughly $600 a year if you were to contin-ually buy 16-ounce water bottles. Furthermore, some people like to bottle their own filtered water. By doing so, they reduce plastic waste and save money. Talk about a win-win situation!

Water dispensers come in different shapes and sizes. Some conveniently fit right into your refrigerator door, others come with a bigger container for larger quantities of water.

After reading all of this information, you might want to rush out and buy yourself a filtering water dispenser. Before you do that, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages…

Advantages

  • No plumbing is required
  • Most are easily stored in a refrigerator and are usually portable
  • With so many different types on the market, you can choose one that suits your needs and budget
  • Cleanup is very simple. The only thing you should have to do is replace the dispenser’s filter
  • User-friendly. Most people understand how to use dispensers without a manual or guidebook

plastic water bottle pollution
Disadvantages:

  • Although perceived as safe, try to keep them away from dust. They can easily become a breeding ground for diseases
  • Cost. The water dispenser itself does not cost much, but it requires a new filter after so many uses. This extra expense adds up, especially during the summer when people are drinking more water
  • Check the quality of the plastic before you make the purchase. If it is made of harmful plastics (like BPA), you could be drinking chemicals just from the dispenser itself rather than the water. Read our article on: BPA Free Water Bottles

The best way to find drinking water from a trustworthy source is to invest in a whole house water filtration system.  These systems filter water throughout your entire home and eliminate 90% of harmful chemicals. They reach your faucets, your showers, and your hoses outside so that everywhere you go in your home, you’re getting clean, pure water. Without the added chemicals in your shower water, your skin and hair will start to feel more clean and healthy. The long term effects on your health alone are worth the investment in one of these systems.

For more information on a whole house water filtration system for your home, CLICK HERE.

Reducing Water Pollution

It’s inevitable that every system and process on Earth results in some sort of pollution. But thanks to an increase in education about water pollution, presently this is a growing concern. The definition of water pollution is a change in the quality of water, whether it be chemical, physical, or biological. Effects pollution can be harmful to those drinking or using it and particularly dangerous to humans.

water pollution
Water pollution, ironically enough, mostly stems from human impact. Oil tankers and mines contribute greatly to water pollution. Other human sources include factories or sewage treatment plants.

How do can you tell if the water near you is polluted? Well, you can’t tell just by looking at it. The only sure way is to scientifically test a small sample. Many companies, like Filtercon for example, offer test kits to test your water at home for water pollution.

Here are some simple thing you can do in your life to prevent water from being polluted:
fish in polluted water
Non-Toxic Products
Rainwater can wash unsafe substances into nearby rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water. For this reason, try buying products that are not harmful to the environment. This includes BPA-free bottles, artificial air fresheners and disinfectants, chemical fertilizers, and flame retardants. You can find products that aren’t harmful to the environment in most local stores. If you use toxic products, simply dispose of them correctly (take them to hazardous waste sites) so they do not cause water pollution. Make sure that you aren’t dumping chemicals down the drain and check out your city’s local hazardous waste dropoff site.

Motor Oil and Cooking Oil
A good practice is not to allow your car to drip motor oil on the ground. Contact your local waste site and ask them when you can dispose of it properly to them. The same goes for cooking oil and paint, it’s a good idea not to put it down faucet. Many restaurants have a grease bin where they dispose of their cooking oil. If you can’t find a place to properly dispose of your cooking oil, ask a restaurant close by.

watering can
Yard Care
The best type of yard fertilizer for your yard is a non-toxic fertilizer, like compost. Toxic fertilizers turn into ocean and lake pollution when it rains. They can also be absorbed in the water supply, which is a result of poor drainage in the yard. It’s also good to not overwater your yard if you are using toxic fertilizer.

Dog Friendly
When walking your dog, clean up after him/her. It is courtesy, of course, but their stool sometimes can find their way to our water supply.

Your Toilet
Some people use their toilet as a garbage can. Please do not make this mistake. It is polluting to add items like dirty diapers, sanitary napkins, and tampon applicators to your toilet drainage. These items could end up polluting the ocean and can damage the water treatment effort.

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