CARPINTERIA, CA - Nearly fifteen years after its inception, a project to provide public sewer service to 72 existing residences in the Rincon Point community is finally complete. The project involved removal of on-site septic systems from this beachfront community, which had been implicated in near-shore water quality degradation since the late 1990’s.
“After many years of fits and starts in the entitlement, permitting and funding stages of this complex project, the actual construction of the sewer infrastructure went remarkably well, with the work being completed on time and within budget projections.” said Craig Murray, General Manager of the Carpinteria Sanitary District.
Due to its physical location, well over a mile from the nearest sewer main and about 130 feet lower in elevation, providing public sewer service to the Rincon Point area was an engineering and construction challenge. It was also a costly undertaking, with individual homeowners in the beachside community paying approximately $80,000 per parcel to fund the roughly $6M conversion program. Final project costs will be mitigated somewhat, however, by a State Water Resources Control Board Grant, through the Clean Beaches Initiative Grant Program.
The construction effort was divided into two discrete components. Work outside of the residential community was completed by Tierra Contracting, a Santa Barbara based public works contractor. A central sewage pump station was installed in the Rincon Beach Park to convey wastewater uphill through a new force main pipeline installed in the US 101 corridor using a trenchless technology called horizontal directional drilling. The pump station has sophisticated controls and redundant systems, including an emergency generator, to ensure reliable performance.
Travis Agricultural Construction, of Ventura, installed the sewer system within the gated Rincon Point community. This work was accomplished almost entirely using trenchless methods, in order to protect sensitive archaeological resources and to minimize impacts to existing hardscape and landscape on private properties. The local topography, narrow streets and existing utility network made the use of a low-pressure sewer system, where each home has an individual pumping unit, the best overall design (see www.eone.comfor more information on low-pressure sewer systems). A network of durable, small-diameter pipes convey wastewater to the adjacent central pump station. Ultimately wastewater from Rincon Point is treated at the District’s wastewater treatment facility.
Initiated in 1999 by area surfers concerned with bacterial contamination of the ocean, the idea of converting the Rincon Point community to a public sewer system developed broad community support and was the genesis of the environmental organization Heal the Ocean. This project represents the final phase of the larger South Coast Beach Communities Septic to Sewer Project, which resulted in the provision of public sewer service to over 170 beach homes in the Carpinteria Valley that formerly used on-site septic systems to treat and dispose of wastewater.
“The District is pleased to complete this long awaited project that will provide reliable wastewater utility service to a new group of customers and will help to enhance water quality in Carpinteria for generations to come.” said Board President, Mike Modugno.
About Carpinteria Sanitary District:
The Carpinteria Sanitary District is an independent special district which provides wastewater collection, treatment and disposal services to the residents and businesses of the City of Carpinteria and surrounding unincorporated areas in the Carpinteria Valley.
The District was formed in 1928 to provide wastewater collection and disposal to area residents. During the 1930’s and 40’s wastewater was collected and discharged to the ocean without the benefit of treatment. It was during this period that the bulk of the sewer system serving the downtown area was constructed.
Over time, the District’s wastewater collection has been expanded to serve the community’s needs. The system currently consists of approximately 40 linear miles of sewer pipeline ranging from 6” to 24” in diameter. The District also owns and operates seven sewage pump stations that are necessary to convey flow to the wastewater treatment plant. Currently the District provides service to approximately 16,500 people and has just under 4,100 user accounts.
For more information please visit our website www.CarpSan.com.