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The original item was published from 3/17/2021 10:12:00 AM to 5/3/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: March 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Infrastructure Improvements for Poway Water System

water rate structure

With the goal of increasing the reliability of drinking water for water customers now and generations to come, the City of Poway is beginning the largest capital improvement program (CIP) in the city’s 40-year history. An update on the planned CIP was presented to the Poway City Council at the March 16 council meeting.

The CIP will include replacing the clearwell (water storage reservoir) at the water treatment plant and a new San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) treated water connection and redundant pipeline. In order to replace the clearwell, a temporary bypass project will include two 1.4 million-gallon tanks for storing treated water. 

These infrastructure improvement projects have been in the planning stage for a long time and are moving ahead as part of a mutually beneficial agreement between Poway and the State Division of Drinking Water.

The clearwell replacement project consists of replacing the existing clearwell with two new reservoirs. The existing clearwell has reached the end of its useful life and is in need of replacement to maintain reliable service to Poway water customers. The overflow structure of the clearwell will also be replaced with a new structure designed with proper air gaps. The SDCWA treated water connection and redundant pipeline project provides Poway with its first treated water connection to the SDCWA's treated water aqueduct, as well as providing redundant pipelines. This project will help diversify Poway's water supply portfolio and allow for operational flexibility and plant maintenance. It will also provide a redundant pipeline to the 36" water transmission line on Lake Poway Road, which is currently the single transmission line that carries treated water to the distribution system. 

The first project is constructing the temporary bypass for storing treated water. After evaluating all the options, the site that was determined to best meet the criteria was the ballfield at Lake Poway. The ballfield is immediately adjacent to the water treatment plant and has a graded pad to accommodate the temporary tanks. No other location provided the space and proximity without major modifications. 

This project is expected to go out for bid in May, with construction beginning in September or October 2021. Here are the anticipated impacts at Lake Poway:

  • The ballfield will be used for temporary water storage tanks and likely unavailable for use through Spring 2024. 
  • The parking lot adjacent to the entry booth will be used as a staging area and likely closed for the duration of the project. This will reduce overall parking capacity by 52 spots. This is the lot closest to the archery range; visitors will need to park a little further to access the range.
  • The lower playground (adjacent to the parking lot) will be closed for safety reasons. 
  • Check-in/base camp for Lake Poway Day Camp, which has traditionally been in the area between the ballfield and the lower playground, will be relocated.

The city will work with the project contractors to develop a construction plan that limits the impact to neighborhoods adjacent to Lake Poway, as well as park guests. Once the clearwell is replaced and the temporary tanks are removed, the ballfield will be restored back to its original condition.

Although this project will impact Lake Poway operations, and likely generate many questions from lake users, it is an essential step toward ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for the Poway community. Completing the water projects as quickly and efficiently as possible is in the best interests of the city and all ratepayers.

To watch the council meeting, visit and scroll down to the City Council Meeting archive (typically posts by mid-day the morning after a meeting). 

For questions about the water infrastructure projects, please contact Community Outreach Coordinator Rene Carmichael at 858-668-4506 or by email.

Read the agenda report...
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