Cambria emergency water project behind schedule

December 26, 2014

cambriaThe Cambria Community Services District did not meet its target date of earlier this week to launch its $9 million emergency water supply project. [Tribune]

CSD workers are nearing completion of a water treatment plant and supply system that will transform a mix of fresh water, seawater, creek underflow and wastewater into potable water for residents. The district set a target date of Dec. 22, which passed Monday, to launch the project.

Paperwork and financial concerns have delayed the project, district officials say. Ongoing issues include a bond the district must post to provide financial insurance in case something goes wrong with a planned brine pond.

Workers have also yet to resolve some operational, maintenance and monitoring issues. Additionally, the regional water board must issue a permit related to how the project deals with effluent from the treatment process prior to launch of the emergency supply system.

Recently, a local environmental group sued the Cambria CSD, claiming it breached state law in rushing through the project. CSD officials have been operating under an emergency coastal development permit from the county as they wait for complete approval of the project.

District officials responded to the suit by calling it frivolous and saying that several levels of government had confirmed that Cambria was facing a water crisis.

At the time the CSD launched the project, Cambria, like the rest of California was in the middle of a severe drought. But, Cambria has now received approximately 9.5 inches of precipitation since the beginning of the current rain season, according to county figures.

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Water water everywhere…. But only sewage to drink.