While the business conducted at the Idyllwild Water District’s Nov. 18 meeting carries several projects forward into the future, the board also took time to salute two directors whose terms are ending.
Warren Monroe, first elected in August 2003, and Dean Lattin, appointed in 2013, completed their service. New directors Steve Kunkle and June Rockwell will be sworn into office at the Dec. 16 IWD meeting, General Manager Tom Lynch announced.
Much of the board’s actions addressed matters affecting the sewer system and waste-treatment plant. The current Sewer System Management Plan was amended to allow for pre-treating waste entering the system.
Idyllwild Brewpub plans to treat its waste before it enters Idyllwild’s sewer system, which Lynch said, “Will improve the quality of the discharges to acceptable treatment levels to discharge into our wastewater system.”
IWD’s current sewer plan did not address pre-treated waster, so this amendment allows IWD to continue to work and negotiate with the brewery without adopting a specific ordinance to regulate pre-treatment requirements, Lynch told the board.
Before the brewery begins operation, IWD will require a Sewer Connection and Use Permit, stipulating operation of machinery and disposal methods. The next step will be negotiating a memorandum of understanding between the two entities, which “will specifically address the particular details of the brewery discharges and will include limits to various material chemicals and the timing of discharge releases,” Lynch stated.
The board approved hiring Separation Processes Inc. of Carlsbad to assess whether microfiltration could and should be incorporated into the design of the future recycled-water facility. The project should be completed within six to eight weeks, according to Lynch.
He reported that the engineering companies interested in designing the plant have raised questions about using microfiltration; therefore, Lynch recommended IWD evaluate its inclusion before issuing a design contract. This work will cost about $32,500 and will be reimbursed from the state grant for the recycling project.
The board also approved using $21,000 for equipment to help automate its wastewater treatment plant.
“The district could save money, effort and water by minor upgrades to the original Filtronics systems,” Lynch reported. IWD has older and seldom-used Filtronics equipment at the plant, which can be upgraded to improve efficiency.
Lynch plans to add this equipment to the network to enable remote control and monitoring.
In water business, Lynch reported that the groundwater level for many of the district’s wells has risen as a result of the fall rains. For example, Foster Lake wells were 3 feet higher in October than September and even higher than in the autumn of 2014. The downtown wells also are higher.
However, Foster Lake remains dry and “IWD is still in stage 2 [water emergency] and the Stage 3 triggers are close,” Lynch stressed.
Water usage in October was 5.4 million gallons, which was 1.4 million gallons or 21 percent less than October 2014. For the year 2015, water usage has totaled 62.4 million gallons, which is 10.2 million gallons or 14 percent less than the same period in 2014.
The lower water usage resulted in an accompanying $32,000 fall in water sales revenue compared to September. Revenues declined about 25 percent while usage fell 16.5 percent.
“Although revenue was down, expenses were down, too,” said Hosny Shouman, chief financial officer. “But the net income was $4,600 for October.”
Water losses also declined from 3.75 percent of production last month to 1.1 percent in October.