Water Authority takes another step to meet the region’s treated water demand


Short Title
Water Authority takes another step to meet the region’s treated water demand

Regional treatment plant performance specifications approved by board of directors
November 18, 2004

Moving rapidly to increase the San Diego region’s ability to produce needed supplies of treated water, the San Diego County Water Authority board of directors today approved the required performance specifications for its proposed Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment plant. The plant, scheduled for completion by summer 2008, will produce 50- to 100-million gallons of treated water a day. The Water Authority requires board approval of performance specifications before soliciting proposals from design-build-operate teams.

“The completion of this regional water treatment plant is an integral part of our long-range planning to increase water supply reliability,” said Bernie Rhinerson, chairman of the board. “These specifications provide bidding teams a detailed and comprehensive list of what they are required to produce should they be selected to undertake this project.”

The regional water treatment plant was one of several projects added to the Water Authority’s Capital Improvement Program in June 2004 to increase the region’s water supply reliability.

For the last two summers, the demand for treated water in both Riverside and San Diego counties has increased dramatically. Because of this increased demand, the Metropolitan Water District’s Skinner water treatment plant, which provides approximately half of the San Diego County’s treated water, has been pushed to its production limits. Demand is projected to continue increasing for the immediate future. The completion of a regional water treatment plant to serve San Diego County is a critical component in avoiding treated water production shortages in the future.

In the DBO procurement process, teams provide a single bid covering all aspects the project from design through construction and plant operation.

The performance specifications describe the construction of the project and the conditions of performance. Key components of the performance specifications include:

• The water treatment plant will have the capacity to produce 50 million gallons of treated water per day and to be expandable to 100 mgd. The plant will need to produce a steady output of 50 mgd of treated water without fluctuations.
• Due to the critical need for this project, and because it is expected to come on-line during a high-demand period, the water treatment plant will have to operate at full production immediately, producing 50 mgd on the first day it is in service.
• The treated water quality will meet all existing and currently anticipated state and federal water quality requirements.
• The successful bidder will provide operation and maintenance of the water treatment plant for 15 years, with a 5-year extension at the Water Authority’s option. The Water Authority can, at its option, terminate and “buy out” the operation portion of the agreement in less than 15 years.
• Periodic maintenance audits of the facilities will ensure the private operator is maintaining the facility in good operating condition.
• The facility will conform to aesthetics requirements established based on public input and industry standards for these types of facilities.

The estimated design-build portion of the contract is approximately $91 million. Planning, management and overhead costs through construction are estimated at $16 million, bringing the total project cost to approximately $107 million.

The annual estimated operations and maintenance costs for the Service Agreement is $4 million in 2008 dollars. Based on a possible 15-year service agreement for the DBO entity to operate the plant, the estimated total value of the service agreement for the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant and pump station, including the capital and inflated operations and maintenance, is $170 million.

The Water Authority will issue the draft environmental impact report for the project in January 2005 for public review and comment, and the board is scheduled to certify the EIR in May 2005. Award of the DBO contract is scheduled for September 2005. Plant design completion is anticipated by summer of 2006, with full operation scheduled to begin by summer 2008.

The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from the Colorado River and Northern California. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to support the region’s $130 billion economy and the quality of life of 3 million residents.

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