2015-12-10 / Community

Reclaimed water system gets greenlight

By Andy Nguyen


OPPORTUNITY—Because of its location, North Ranch Neighborhood Park will soon become thefirst park in Thousand Oaks with a reclaimed water irrigation system. 
FILE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY—Because of its location, North Ranch Neighborhood Park will soon become thefirst park in Thousand Oaks with a reclaimed water irrigation system. FILE PHOTO Furthering its water conservation efforts, the Conejo Rec and Park District is inching closer to installing its first reclaimed irrigation system.

During a Dec. 3 meeting, CRPD’s board of directors awarded a $316,000 contract to convert the irrigation system at North Ranch Neighborhood Park from using potable water to reclaimed water— treated water that’s safe for plants but not for human consumption.

The lowest of four bidders, United Construction and Landscape Inc. of Northridge, plans to begin the two-month job in January.

It was the second time in two months the proposal has come before the park board. On Oct. 15, directors decided to rebid the job after CRPD received only one valid bid—for $318,000.

Despite the district’s saving only $2,000 compared to the October bid, director Joe Gibson said, he stood by the decision to go back out to bid.

“I feel better going through a process where we have four qualified bidders that we’re picking from as opposed to one,” Gibson said at last week’s meeting.

To make the reclaimed system possible, CRPD will tap into a source provided by California Water Service near the Kanan Road park.

Much of the irrigation infrastructure will remain, CRPD park administrator Tom Hare said, but a pump will have to be installed to draw from the CalWater source in order to get enough pressure.

“In a sense it’s run it, plug it and go, but this one has a few different hurdles,” Hare said.

Currently all parks within the district use potable, or drinking, water as a source of irrigation. Converting other parks to a reclaimed water system would cost significantly more since the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, there are plans to convert other parks that lie near the Cal Water source within the next couple of years.

During last week’s meeting, Hare said Cal Water is about 90 percent finished drawing up plans for a system that could be installed at Triunfo Park south of the 101 Freeway and west of Westlake Boulevard. He said the project could begin sometime in 2016.

“It’s got to be budgeted, approved and all of that stuff,” Hare said. “Once (Cal Water) gets that approval, they want to have that project ready to roll.”

Once complete, it’s expected the new system at North Ranch will save CRPD about 5.3 million gallons of potable water per year.

During construction, portions of the park will be closed.

However, Hare said the goal is to “keep as much of the park open as possible.”

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