Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board Moves Forward With New Chloride Compliance Plan -- September 23, 2015

Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board members are moving forward with a plan to truck brine out of the community to comply with state-mandated chloride compliance.

Last week, a notice of preparation for an environmental review was released for a new chloride compliance plan.

Board members voted to approve two agenda items Tuesday —  one to begin looking for potential suppliers for equipment for the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant and another to fund engineers to support the project and test water in the Newhall Land and Farming wells.

More treatment equipment would be installed into the current water reclamation plants in the Santa Clarita Valley. About six truckloads of brine, with a maximum of 10, would be driven during off-peak hours to the proposed facility, Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson, which treats wastewater from much of the Los Angeles Basin, over 270 million gallons per day, and discharges to the ocean, according to a news release.

Brine is the salt removed from chloride which is added to water through soaps and other household chemicals.

“The good news is we were able to avoid deep well injection with reverse osmosis equipment, it’s very innovative equipment that will go into the plant and will minimize the brine (that will possibly be) taken to the Carson plant,” said Laurene Weste, a member of the SCV Sanitation District Board. “This will greatly relieve costs of other things that would have had to be done and concerns the West Side had. It’s a very good thing for our community with this process.”

Three public meetings are planned to be held next month for public input for the new chloride compliance project proposal.

Public input meetings are planned to be held Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Activities Center. Another meeting will be held Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School.

“That’s really just the first round of public meetings,” said Bryan Langpap, SCVSD supervising engineer of the Planning Section, in a previous story. “Once we have done our work and released the draft document for public, there will be another round of public meetings and for public feedback.”

The proposed plan will require additional studies, officials said.

An Enhanced Membrane System is being considered by board members for Valencia WRP to remove chloride from plant and concentrate the brine, according to the agenda. An EMS supplier will be selected based on experience and cost.

An $2.3 million Engineering Services Agreement with Carollo Engineers, Inc. was approved for the Valencia plant, according to the agenda. Engineering support is required to assist District’s staff in the evaluation of chloride removal and brine concentration technologies and planning and design of the project.

The agenda described Carollo as “one of the engineering firms selected to provide this support and has provided a proposal to produce contract documents for the project” and that it’s employees have “extensive experience with planning and design of the facilities and equipment being considered and has the expertise and resources to complete the work in the time available.”

A Property Use Agreement with Newhall Land and Farming Company was also approved to access and sample groundwater wells four times per year at specific locations downstream of the District’s water reclamation plants, according to the agenda. Several of the required groundwater wells are located within property owned by Newhall and will be effective until May 2020.

“Our office worked closely with the Sanitation District and the residents of Stevenson Ranch

to come up with a project that was less impactful than the deep well injection that was originally proposed,” said Edel Vizcarra, planning and public works deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. “It’s a good thing, it’s a win-win.”

Last year, a plan was approved by board members in 2013 to install a brine deep well injection site in Stevenson Ranch near the Valencia TPC golf course. That plan fell through after protest from Santa Clarita Valley residents.

“The community voiced deep concerns about deep well injections with such a level of push back,” said Phil Friess, head of Technical Services of the district. “Our directors gave us direction to look for other locations away from homes and look for other technologies.”

“We came back to our directors and said ‘we can’t implement deep well injection at another location or a pipeline to the ocean by July 1, 2019,’” Friess said.

In May of 2015, the SCVSD board members voted to OK an approximately $130 million plan further research using brine concentration and truck brine out of the Santa Clarita Valley. Once the evaluations are done, the board would then consider approving the new brine management proposal.