November marks one year of service in San Juan Capistrano! Santa Margarita Water District is honored to provide drinking water, recycled water, and wastewater services to the residents, businesses, and visitors to the city.
Since November 15, 2021, the district has invested some 5.6 million dollars in infrastructure maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
It takes a lot of expertise, experience, and skill to deliver safe drinking water and wastewater services every day. “We’ve been working strategically and diligently on enhancing the water quality, reliability, and customer service in the city,” said Dan Ferons, SMWD General Manager. “We’re fortunate to have an amazing team.”
In just 12 quick months, the Board and leadership team at SMWD have focused $3.4 million on San Juan Capistrano projects and another $2.2 million on new vehicles to serve the area. The District has over $4 million in additional projects under contract.
Where were the millions spent? The District invested a significant portion in the SJC water system by rebuilding the entire Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (commonly known as SCADA) system, which provides real-time water system information and controls operations remotely. This upgrade included having staff “dive” and clean all the reservoirs, replace approximately 100 water services, and repair two major water line breaks. In addition to critical improvements made at two pumping stations, SMWD moved bacteriological pH analysis into its in-house lab and implemented an overall preventive maintenance schedule.
One key commitment focused on improving the operations of the San Juan Groundwater Plant. To date, the District has increased water production there by 20%. Before the upgrade, the plant produced about 800 acre-feet of water over six months; it’s currently producing roughly 1,000 acre-feet. That’s great news, especially considering how dry conditions affect our imported water supplies.
The District expanded the use of recycled water at the Mission Street well and is working with the City and the Riding Park operators to convert irrigation and dust control to recycled water.
The SMWD team has also made significant improvements to the SJC wastewater treatment system. We’ve cleaned 59 miles of sewer lines and video-inspected an additional 39 miles while rehabilitating dozens of maintenance manholes and pipes.
While all this was going on the severe drought has been on everyone’s mind. Customers in SJC are undoubtedly glad to be able to access a new range of rebates for improved water-efficiency such as low-flow toilets, high-efficiency clothes washers, smart irrigation timers, and turf removal. They can also tap into free landscape design assistance resources, including SMWD’s new My Garden Has Style templates at www.smwd.com/landscape.
We’re proud of our investments in the San Juan Capistrano area and see them as part of our commitment to our customers there. We are privileged to serve the residents of this great community, and we will continue working hard to ensure the highest quality drinking water and reliable service.