For Immediate Release
March 17, 2021
Contact: Melanie Mow Schumacher, Special Projects-Communications Manager
Phone: 831-475-8501 x153
Soquel Creek Water District Board Approves Construction Phase for the
Pure Water Soquel Program’s Conveyance Infrastructure Project
Soquel, CA (March 17, 2021) - At its meeting of March 16, 2021, the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors approved the next phase of construction for its Pure Water Soquel (PWS) Program. This phase will include an eight-mile conveyance pipeline system that will serve as the backbone of the District’s purified recycled water project aimed at halting further seawater intrusion of the groundwater basin and meeting the state mandate of groundwater sustainability by 2040.
“This is an absolutely monumental milestone in the progress of the Pure Water Soquel program, and we’re happy to have an experienced contractor with a great track record on board,” said District Board President Rachél Lather, referring to Garney Pacific Inc., the Design-Builder (with Kennedy-Jenks) who was awarded the construction phase at its Tuesday night board meeting, and was hired in February 2020 to perform the first phase of design. "This pipeline construction is another step forward in creating the infrastructure that is crucial to providing a drought-proof supplemental water supply and protecting the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin from further seawater contamination."
Construction is anticipated to begin in May 2021 and to be completed by the end of 2022/early 2023. The design/build contract cost for the construction of the conveyance pipeline project is $34.5 million. The District has been successful in gaining significant funding to help cover costs of the PWS Program:
- A $50M grant from the State Water Resources Control Board’s Proposition 1 Groundwater Implementation Grant, which was executed last year
- Low-interest loans from US EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program
- Other state/federal funding programs.
The conveyance project consists of approximately four miles of dual pipelines that will be installed under numerous streets from the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility at 110 California St. to the new Advanced Water Purification Center (to be built under a separate contract) at the corner of Chanticleer Ave. and Soquel Ave. From there, approximately four miles of additional pipeline will be installed to carry ultra-purified water to three seawater intrusion prevention wells, where it will be recharged into the aquifer to help raise groundwater levels and create a seawater intrusion barrier.
"By protecting and preserving the Mid-County Groundwater Basin, Pure Water Soquel is key to the area’s water future,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend. “This is an innovative and sustainable solution toward creating a new, reliable water supply that will replenish the over-drafted groundwater basin.”
When construction begins later this spring, it will be done in segments to minimize construction-related impacts to our community. Work within a particular area could last for one-to-two weeks or more as construction crews move along the pipeline route. The actual length of time that work will take place in any given location will depend on site conditions, weather, and other factors. The District is developing a robust outreach program to notify and work with those impacted by the construction. A map noting the streets where construction will be taking place is on the District’s website at soquelcreekwater.org/NeighborhoodProjects.
"Soquel Creek Water District has been working to protect and restore our critically over-drafted, Mid-County aquifer since I first got involved in local issues over a decade ago,” noted Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manu Koenig. “This project is the result of thousands of hours of citizen engagement to arrive at the best possible solution. With the imminent start of building the conveyance system, we celebrate a huge milestone toward creating a drought-proof water supply for our community."
More information about Pure Water Soquel can be found at soquelcreekwater.org/PWS.
About Soquel Creek Water District
The Soquel Creek Water District is a local government agency that provides water resource management within its service area to deliver a safe and reliable supply of high-quality water to meet present and future needs in an environmentally sensitive and economically responsible way. The District’s website is www.soquelcreekwater.org.