EMWD board hears presentation on Southern Wine Country sewer phasing

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The non-voting items at the Aug. 19 Eastern Municipal Water District board meeting included a presentation on the Southern Wine Country Infrastructure Phasing Plan.

Joe Mouawad, assistant general manager of EMWD, gave the presentation on the Southern Wine Country Infrastructure Phasing Plan Study which provides guidance for the extension of sewer facilities to accommodate development in the Southern Wine Country Community Plan area.

“We wanted to look at a phased incremental approach,” Mouawad said. “We wanted to look at the opportunity to phase in a solution.”

A joint study with the Rancho California Water District was completed in March 2015. That study found a potential for up to 5,000 new equivalent dwelling unit connections. The development would require improvements to existing EMWD trunk sewers and new infrastructure to extend sewer infrastructure into the Southern Wine Country area.

“There are a series of improvements that would be needed,” Mouawad said. “We’re years away from that.”

The 2015 study did not include a timeframe for implementation but cited an estimated cost of $24 million in 2014 dollars.

In April 2019, Eastern selected West Yost Associates to prepare the Southern Wine Country Infrastructure Phasing Plan Study. That study considered an approach to implement sewer service in an incremental manner and included evaluation of potential areas in Southern Wine Country which would likely connect to a future sewer collection system, updated flow projections, an optimized sewer system layout and alternatives to extend sewer service into the area. Planning-level cost estimates were prepared for the alternatives to allow Eastern flexibility in the future based on sequencing and timing of development.

The 2019 study provides guidance to address developer inquiries, develops a framework to explore funding strategies and provides flexibility to respond to the development community. The study will be used as guidance to develop funding strategies and enable ongoing coordination with Riverside County, the Rancho California Water District and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Not all of the growth will require new infrastructure.

“There is remaining capacity within the Temecula Parkway sewer,” Mouawad said.

Eastern believes that capacity for between 3,000 and 3,700 equivalent dwelling units is available in the Temecula Parkway Trunk Sewer. The phasing plan will also optimize infrastructure alignment in the Southern Wine Country area. Eastern will attempt to consolidate and reduce the number of lift stations required to serve the area, which will reduce the total cost, and will identify sites for potential lift stations. An incremental phased approach to extend the sewer infrastructure will be developed, and updated cost estimates will be prepared.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.