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Clarification from the City of Santa Clarita to Alan Ferdman’s Column

| Opinion | March 14, 2019

by Carrie Lujan, City Communications Director

Purple Pipe is the standard American Public Works Association color designated for recycled water. The City of Santa Clarita has and continues to install Purple Pipe within all median projects so these landscaping improvements are capable of utilizing recycled water when it becomes available.

Vista Canyon did not create its own Sanitation District but rather annexed into the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District.

In fact, it was the Santa Clarita City Council that strongly encouraged and ultimately conditioned the developer to fund and construct the future City-owned and operated Water Recycling Factory as a requirement for approving the Vista Canyon project in 2011.

When completed, the new Water Recycling Factory will produce up to 371,000 gallons per day (equivalent to 415.5 acre-feet per year) of disinfected recycled water. This water will be provided to SCV Water to be used for irrigation and other non-potable uses.

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In addition to irrigating landscaped areas within the Vista Canyon project, the City intends to enter into an agreement with SCV Water to sell the water. SCV Water is extending its recycled water infrastructure into Fair Oaks Ranch to provide recycled water for areas such as medians, slopes and parks.

Response from SCV Water:

Mr. Ferdman discusses the local response during the last drought period and states the only solution offered was to “conserve and use less water.” In fact, the conservation measures during the last drought were State-mandated and the targets assigned did not take into account the actual condition of the local water supply in the Santa Clarita Valley. SCV Water does note and reminds residents that while we certainly have enough water to meet current and future projected demands, there is never enough to waste.

Response from the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County:

The Sanitation District does not implement recycled water projects. The District’s authority ends at producing recycled water. Both the City and the Sanitation District are prevented by state duplication of service laws from implementing recycled water projects.

A recent Sanitation District resolution involved the discontinuation of a Sanitation District-only study towards more recycled water use. The Sanitation District is still committed to more water recycling and instead will support the efforts of the SCV Water Agency to complete a regional evaluation of water resources, which will lead to better solutions.

The Sanitation District’s actions relate to the discontinuation of the new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) studies that had been in progress since 2016, in consultation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. There has not been any new recycled water EIR published, and thus there have not been any legal challenges to it.

The Chloride Compliance Project will not make any more recycled water available for irrigation. The project is, however, the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible solution to meeting the State-mandated chloride limit for the Santa Clarita Valley.

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