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Santa Monica Set to Invest More Than $2 million To Tap Stormwater
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Hector Gonzalez
Special to The Lookout

May 6, 2016 -- In one of two water-related agenda items pending City Council approval, Santa Monica would invest more than $2 million on a new system to capture stormwater at Los Amigos Park, store it below ground and use it to irrigate the park's lawn and flush the toilets.

Officially called the Los Amigos Park Stormwater Harvesting and Direct Use Demonstration Project, the system could generate an estimated 550,000 gallons of water a year for park use, according to City staff.

Normally, the runoff would head into the ocean after being treated. Instead, the proposed system would divert the water from an existing 45-inch storm drain at 5th Street next to the park, and send it underground into a 53,500-gallon cistern for storage.

From there the water would be treated for use “on demand” for the park's irrigation system and the restroom toilets, according to a staff report that recommends approving a contractor for the project.

Water flowing into the drain comes from a 50-acre upstream watershed that sends about 6 million gallons of water flowing through the pipe on an average year, according the staff report.

Stormwater not captured by the cistern “would remain in the existing storm drain line, bypass the proposed diversion structure, and flow as it normally does through the storm drain system,” said staff.

A competitive bidding process resulted in staff recommending the Council award a contract not to exceed $2.025 million to Escondido-based J.R. Filanc Construction Co. Inc. to build the reclamation system.

Staff also is recommending the City spend $214,500 to hire Newport Beach-based Anderson-Penna Partners to inspect and maintain the system.

The City already had set aside about $1.6 million for the project as part of improvements planned for Los Amigos Park. It received another $400,000 for the system from the Metropolitan Water District's (MWD) Foundational Actions Funding program.

A pilot program launched by the regional water agency in 2013, the funding program made available $3.3 million to member agencies “to pursue new innovative supply technologies,” according to the MWD.

The program funded 16 projects and provided awards of as much as $500,000. To qualify, the projects had to be reviewed and approved by a five-member panel of three MWD staff and two independent technical experts, the MWD said.

In a separate consent calendar item on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, a staff report recommends the City continue its relationship with La Verne-based Haaker Equipment Co., which maintains tiny “crawler” robots used to inspect Santa Monica's sewer pipes.

Workers from the City's Wastewater Division control the robots from vans mounted with radio equipment, staff said.

Since 2012, the City has used Haaker to maintain and fix the little four-wheeled bots, which have cameras and are capable of squeezing into pipes as small as four inches in diameter.

Haaker is the exclusive Southern California dealer and repairer for New Jersey-based Envirosight, the manufacturer of the bots.

Haaker would receive a $175,000 under a five-year contract set to be approved by the Council on Tuesday.

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