Cambria settles lawsuit against developer for $1.75 million

February 16, 2021

Cambria’s reclaimed water retention basin


After years of issues with their water treatment plant, the Cambria Community Services District settled for $1.75 million with the engineering firm CDM Smith which designed and build the facility and the evaporation pond that was later decommissioned by state regulators.

Since the $13 million emergency water desalination plant became operational in 2014, it has developed problems associated with its water basin and blowers designed to handle plant discharge. In 2015, the district operated the water system for about two and a half months before it needed to be shut down for repairs.

Because of failures with the discharge system, in 2016 the Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered the district to find an alternate method to handle brine discharge from the plant. Then in 2017, because of flooding, the pond was decommissioned.

In particular, the pond was too small to effectively treat the brine-laden water. The district had paid engineering firm CDM Smith $500,000 to design and construct the pond, and then agreed to pay another $500,000 to have the pond fixed.

In Oct. 2018, the district sued CDM Smith over alleged design flaws, seeking $3.5 million. On Jan. 27, the parties agreed to a $1.75 million settlement.

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It’s too bad that the residents of Cambria will and have been paying dearly for theses mistakes. I’d say to the Cambrians that voted in certain people to the CCSD board that had only lived in Cambria for a short time are to blame. Outside influence have drained the pockets of all residents of Cambria. My water bill in the north county is about $40 a month for my household, compared to Cambria would be almost $200 per month. It’s ridiculous!

There needs to be an investigation into previous CSD Board members who advocated and voted for this project.

After all the expenses what’s the net figure? It’s too bad the district settled for a 1/3 of 3.5 million.

Agree, would like to know what is left after expenses, in particular, how much the attorneys and experts got.

Found out the legal fees for Cambria’s side of the settlement were $250,000. So Cambria netted $1.5 million.

Each side paid its own legal fees.