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2001 Press Releases

Water Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 1, 2001

CONTACT: Robert Carty,
(619) 533-6607

WATER DEPARTMENT BEGINS ONE OF LARGEST SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS PROJECTS IN DECADES

SAN DIEGO - Mayor Dick Murphy, Councilmember Brian Maienschein and members of the community kicked-off the beginning of a major water infrastructure project today by ceremoniously placing their handprints in a six-foot slab of concrete. This slab will eventually become part of the new facilities.

The Miramar Water Treatment Plant, located in the community of Scripps Ranch, will be undergoing a seven-year upgrade and expansion project as part of the Water Department's citywide Capital Improvements Program.

The Miramar Water Treatment Plant, built in 1962, is approaching the end of its useful life and needs to be upgraded. In addition, to continue to serve the water demands of the northern section of the City of San Diego the plant's treatment capacity needs to be expanded. Construction is beginning in June, and is currently scheduled to last through 2008. The plant's current peak water production capacity is 140 million gallons a day (mgd) and is being expanded to 215 mgd, with pipe infrastructure and space preserved for a future upgrade.

In addition to the capacity expansion, the latest technologies are being incorporated to allow the plant to run more efficiently and produce a higher quality of water, including new filters, a de-aeration facility that will help remove trapped air allowing the filters to work more efficiently, and changing the primary disinfection method from chlorine to ozone. State-of-the-art safety and security measures are also being incorporated into the project. The total project cost for the plant expansion is estimated at $135 million dollars.

The planning and design work for the project began in 1999. This detailed work included evaluating water treatment technologies to determine the best possible treatment method to incorporate into the design. Careful planning for the project also included running a pilot project to ensure the level of treatment that is necessary would be achieved.

In addition to the technical planning, the City has also worked closely with the local community to involve public perspective into the planning of the project. Community members have been meeting for more than a year to provide input into aspects of the project ranging from design, to construction schedules. This collaborative approach to the project has resulted in a construction process that among other benefits will translate into lessened traffic and recreational impacts from construction.

The Miramar Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansion Project is one part of the Water Department's multi-million dollar Capital Improvements Program that began in 1998 and includes pipeline projects, water pump stations, reservoirs and treatment plants. These improvements will help ensure a safe and reliable water supply, protecting the region's job base, environment and overall quality of life. Information on other CIP projects is available online at www.sandiego.gov/water.