We are very excited with the progress of the water project to this point. We are still on target to go online with the system June 2017.
Tank - We recently finished wrapping the tank with a large cable. For those of you who witnessed this it was very impressive. The cable is wound around the tank under tension and anchored in several places. The large red tower completed the wrap in less than 24 hours. Next week the cable will be covered with 6" of concrete. The tank will then be covered with a water barrier prior to back fill.
Backfill - We will begin backfilling the tank after the first of the year. The soil must meet specific moisture parameters in order for us to backfill and compact the soil around the tank. Several weeks ago we tested the soil and found it to be nearly perfect. We decided to cover the pile to maintain the moisture content which ended up being a great idea with all the rain. We estimate almost all of the spoils on #2 tee will be used to backfill the tank. Once completed the majority of the tank will be backfilled to the rim. The most exposed area will be on the northwest side of the tank facing #14 tee. Approximately 7' will be exposed on this side. The area will be screened by the bathroom and landscape.
Sewer - With the recent extension of the sewer system to Orchard Drive, along Sims Road adjacent to our project, we decided to modified our design to accommodate the new sewer connection. Access to the sewer will allow us to eliminate a septic field for our restroom and more importantly discharge our backwash from the recycled water filters into the sewer. The original design was to utilize the overflow line we installed along #14 to discharge the backwash back into the outfall line we receive our recycled water from. The original design would allow us to always receive the minimum daily amount of recycled water guaranteed in our contract from Scotts Valley (170k gallons). The quantity of backwash reintroduced into the outfall line (10k gallons/day) potentially limited us from taking all of the water flowing down the pipeline due to the permitted water quality the state mandates for discharge to the ocean. This is a huge win for us to now have the ability to take almost every drop of water in the outfall pipeline (up to 500k gallons/day) for the next 30 years. We negotiated the cost of the sewer connection to be applied to our property taxes over the 25-30 years.
Water Diversion - Part of our contract to receive the secondary water from Scotts Valley requires us to install a valve on Graham Hill Road to diver the water to Pasatiempo. The system was originally designed to divert water and included this valve. The valve was removed by the City of Scotts Valley many years ago. We are working closely Scotts Valley on several design options to divert the water to Pasatiempo.
The water project passed with overwhelming support from the shareholders. We all recognized the importance of securing alternative water sources at reasonable rates. This past October the City of Santa Cruz raised our potable water rates almost 40%. The increase was not known at the time of the shareholder vote. Without this project the known increases in potable water rates through 2020 would increase our annual potable water costs from 550k to 1.15 million.
Please contact Scott or myself if you have any questions. Thank you for the support and commitment to this project.