At the Feb. 23 Yucaipa Valley Water District board meeting, General Manager Joe Zoba presented the 2021 strategic priorities, goals and objectives of the water district.
Zoba told the board that the YVWD looks at where the district wants to be and then it takes steps back to figure out what it needs to do to get there. This technique is utilized to integrate its system including the water system, the drinking water plant, the wastewater plant, the recycled water system and its brineline, which has been successful to bring together this consolidated and integrated system that relies on one another and ties in for all typical operations.
This backcasting technique has led the YVWD to the construction of the Yucaipa Valley regional water filtration facility and the wastewater plant.
“Being the same type of processes we were able actually to build two facilities that somewhat mirrored one another even though they have totally different functionality. We were also able to rebuild the recycled water system which connects those two plants, the wastewater plant and the drinking water plant. Then of course the brine line extends all the way from Yucaipa down into Orange County to dispose of minerals that are removed from the water to create an ultra pure water supply,” said Zoba.
The 2021 strategic priorities, goals and objectives include: Monitoring operations and reporting enhancements (MORE) project; Indirect potable reuse; Calimesa aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) facilities; Public relations and outreach; Energy efficiency improvements; Septic tank elimination program; and Advanced metering infrastructure.
Zoba recommended the YVWD continue to move forward with the MORE project where the district treats the recycled water coming off the wastewater treatment plant as a drinking water source. The MORE project along with some of the virus studies were adopted and approved for a presentation in Florida in a near future National Water Reuse Association.
“The MORE project is certainly getting a lot of attention in the industry and I would recommend we stick with that and move that one forward,” said Zoba.
Zoba said that the indirect potable reuse is tied together with the Calimesa aquifer storage and recovery project. The water is treated and the wastewater leaving the plant is at a very high quality pure recycled water that opens the door for the indirect potable reuse and tied together with the ASR facility the water is actually dropped in the ground and is able to be extracted in a different location as a drinking water source.
Regarding public relations and outreach, a history book is being completed for the district. With the district approaching its 60 year anniversary of operation in Yucaipa, research was done and the information will be put together and will be available later this year. The district plans to implement a program to gain and enhance the district’s presence involving social media, creation of video clips about the district’s operations, historical information and regular press releases to inform the public about district projects.
Energy efficiency improvements will include a solar project component, a battery storage component and natural gas components. These are important projects to make the water district energy independent and stabilize future energy expenses.
YVWD would like to move forward with the septic tank elimination program for customers to eliminate septic systems to protect groundwater quality for the future. This strategic planning element will involve the installation of sewer infrastructure in areas that are currently served by septic system.
The advanced metering infrastructure will be continued to be completed. This system will be expanded this year to include pressure monitoring throughout the distribution system.
All of these items will be brought back to the board at a later time.
Director Dennis Miller asked if there might be any modifications other than what was presented.
Zoba answered that there wouldn’t be and he recommended that the board move forward as it was consistent with what was done last year but it was more of an opportunity for the board members to lead the district in a different direction if they wanted to add a component or modify a component at this time.
Director Joyce McIntire said, “I just think they are all great and it is very important that we do this, all of it.”
The directors approved this item unanimously with 4-0, Director Chris Mann being absent.
Documents are available for public view at documents.yvwd.dst.ca.us.