Solana Beach to construct recycled water line


With improvements already coming to Via de la Valle, the city of Solana Beach is collaborating with its coastal neighbor to construct a recycled water line along the shared corridor.

In a unanimous vote, the Solana Beach City Council on Sept. 23 appropriated more than $1.3 million toward the extension of the water line in the city. The recycled water line ends at Via de la Valle and Valley Avenue. The project will extend the line west along Via de la Valle to Highway 101.

With two projects already planned for Via de la Valle, this project is now part of one large construction contract between Del Mar and Solana Beach.

The city of Del Mar is building a pipeline to transmit its wastewater through Solana Beach to the San Elijo Water Reclamation Facility in Cardiff. The new pipe will be constructed from Del Mar’s 21st Street pump station along Camino del Mar to Via de la Valle, connecting to Solana Beach’s system near South Cedros. In addition, Del Mar is implementing street and sidewalk improvements along Via de la Valle from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to Highway 101.

By working together and combining Del Mar and Solana Beach’s projects into one contract, the cities aim to coordinate construction activities, minimize traffic impacts and reduce costs.

“We recognized that Via de la Valle was also being considered for other improvements,” said Solana Beach City Engineer Mo Sammak. “We learned that combining those improvements would benefit the city at large, as compared to the city going out and doing a separate contract.”

The Solana Beach council previously approved a $265,000 contract with Infrastructure Engineering Corporation for the project design. With the vote, the council authorized an additional $50,000 for added design work, including the design of the recycled water fill station along Via de la Valle and the preparation of traffic control plans.

The project is estimated to cost more than $2 million, with design costs expected to total $315,000 and construction expected to cost $1.7 million.

To cover some of the costs, San Elijo Joint Powers Authority is reimbursing $23,770 in design costs and is applying for a grant that would put an additional $600,000 toward the project. The Santa Fe Irrigation District has also verbally offered $50,000 toward the project, with the agreement expected to go to before the board in October.

The estimated construction costs include building four lateral extensions at South Cedros Avenue, Solana Circle Drive, Del Mar Downs and Pimlico Drive, which Sammak said total about $500,000. He said the laterals would generate a total of 35 acre-feet of water per year with payback at about $17,000 per year.

Although the council appropriated funds for the total cost of the project, council members questioned whether the lateral extensions would benefit the city.

“I can’t even begin to imagine spending a half-million dollars without some level of commitment that it was going to generate a return,” said Deputy Mayor David Zito.

Because the lateral extensions will be incorporated into the construction contract as alternate bid items, the council can decide later whether to move forward with all, some or none of the laterals.

“The appropriation is needed for us to be able to commit to Del Mar that we have the money to pay for these things,” Sammak said. “We have the right to reject any of those laterals, if we decide to do it, because it’s built into the contract.”