SOURCE: Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

July 08, 2014 11:30 ET

SCV Sanitation District Board Adopts Rates to Comply With State-Mandated Chloride (Salt) Limit and Prevent State Fines and Resolution to Support Local Water Sustainability in the Santa Clarita Valley

SANTA CLARITA, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 8, 2014) - The Board of Directors of the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) Sanitation District voted unanimously last night to adopt rates to fund the continued operation of the existing sewerage facilities and to fund the Chloride Compliance Project needed to meet the State-mandated chloride (salt) limit for the Santa Clarita Valley's two wastewater (sewage) treatment plants. The Board also approved a resolution directing staff to collaborate with the Castaic Lake Water Agency, the four SCV water retailers (Los Angeles County Waterworks District 36, Newhall County Water District, CLWA Santa Clarita Water Division, and the Valencia Water Company), and the Valley's business and civic organizations to develop a comprehensive plan for using as much of the recycled water as possible to advance local water sustainability in the SCV and to benefit the Valley's parks, golf courses and landscaping.

For over ten years, the SCV Sanitation District repeatedly challenged the State's chloride (salt) limit, but was not successful in getting the State limit changed. State regulators have stated that they were prepared to enforce deadlines and issue fines. The SCV Sanitation District's Board action meets State timelines for setting rates for the Chloride Compliance Project, and ensures that changes requested of the State that could lower costs to ratepayers and prevent State fines can move forward through the State and Federal approval process.

District Chief Engineer and General Manager, Grace Hyde, stated, "The SCV Sanitation District worked hard to lower the cost to ratepayers as much as possible to meet the State-mandated chloride limit and to protect Valley property owners from State fines. We will continue to work hard to get State and Federal approval of the changes we need to lower the costs further and to extend the State's compliance deadline."

"This project will give us a source of very high quality recycled water that we can use to create local water sustainability in the Santa Clarita Valley and help reduce our dependence on expensive imported state water," said District Board Member Laurene Weste. "I am very proud that we were able to lower the costs of complying with the State chloride mandate in the Valley. We will keep working with the State to get changes in the project that are environmentally sound and will reduce costs even further, and any savings will be passed to our ratepayers."

Added District Board Member Bob Kellar, "This is a practical business decision that is in the best interest of all residents and businesses of the Santa Clarita Valley. We are focused on moving forward and on collaborating with all our water agencies and business leaders to keep this valuable water asset here in the Valley to benefit our region."

The District held six public information meetings throughout the Santa Clarita Valley to provide an opportunity to discuss the proposed rates with District staff, gave three tours of the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant, met with business and industry organizations, Town Councils and Advisory Committees, and mailed 69,702 individual notices in accordance with Proposition 218. A public hearing was held on June 30th to receive official public comment.

The portion of the approved rate for the Chloride Compliance Project will be phased in gradually over six years, and will be $8.33 per month for a single family home by 2019. The rate increase related to the Chloride Compliance Project in 2014-15 will be $1.33 per month for a single family home. The District's next steps are to seek State and Federal approvals of a 4-year extension of the State's May 2015 construction deadline to prevent the SC Valley from being subject to State fines next year, and technical changes to the chloride compliance project needed to reduce project costs. The extension and changes must be approved before May of 2015 by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles, the State Water Resources Control Board, the State Office of Administrative Law and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The SCV Sanitation District is responsible for the treatment and management of all the sewage discharged to the sewer system in the Santa Clarita Valley.