PALMDALE — The Palmdale Water District extended its contract with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District 20 for recycled water, as projects for this water have been delayed for circumstances beyond their control.
The contract was originally signed in October 2016, allowing the District to purchase recycled water from the Sanitation District’s treatment plant in Palmdale for “beneficial use” in projects through the District and the Palmdale Recycled Water Authority, a joint powers agency with the District and the City of Palmdale.
“They understand that the delays in the Phase 2 project with PRWA and the recharge project that’s Palmdale Water District’s were beyond our control and we’re doing everything that we can to move those projects forward,” General Manager Dennis LaMoreaux said.
The agreement had certain milestones PWD was required to meet in order to maintain the allotment of recycled water, as well as minimum payments for the water.
The contract amendment extends the deadlines from October 2019 to October 2021.
“After talking it through, it seemed like the best option was to extend the contract from 30 years to 32,” LaMoreaux said.
Two projects for using the recycled water are included in the agreement, with milestone requirements for each.
The first is the Palmdale Groundwater Recharge and Recovery Project, seen as a means of ensuring a stable water supply for District customers in the future. It would store underground recycled water from the Sanitation District and untreated water from the California Aqueduct.
Located near Avenue L and 100th Street East, the site would be used to allow water to percolate to the groundwater table beneath, from where it can be withdrawn for use by wells.
The project preparation has had several delays, including problems with soil and other testing at the site, which has led to a delay in completing the final design and securing funding.
The second project, known as Phase 2 of the Recycled Water Line, would extend the lines carrying treated recycled water for irrigation, known as “purple pipes,” about 4½ miles from McAdam Park on 30th Street East and East Avenue R to Dominic Massari Park.
Current estimates have the project cost at about $7.5 million. Despite good faith efforts and working with the Palmdale Recycled Water Authority, PWD has not yet been able to secure funding for Phase 2.
However, recently, the Authority has looked at private bond financing and is optimistic this may be secured.
Without Phase 2 in place with its additional irrigation, the District is limited in utilizing all of its 100 acre-foot recycled water allotment for which it is contractually obliged to pay, according to the staff report.
An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons, or approximately the amount of water a typical Antelope Valley household used in one year, before the most recent drought-reduced usage.