3. AUTHORIZE FUNDS FOR 2004 SEASIDE BASIN INJECTION TESTING PROGRAM
Program/Line No.: 1.2 Water Supply
Staff Contact: Joe Oliver Projects, Objective 1-2-1 A. 1
Cost Estimate: $77,500
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee reviewed this item at its December 9, 2003 meeting and recommended approval.
CEQA Compliance: N/A
SUMMARY: The Board will consider whether or not to amend an existing contract with Padre Associates, Inc. to assist staff with implementation of the planned Water Year (WY) 2004 Seaside Basin ground water injection testing program (also know as aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR). Specifically, this authorization will allow for a continuation of the injection testing at the District’s Santa Margarita Test Injection Well (SMTIW), located on former Fort Ord adjacent to General Jim Moore Boulevard. The focus of injection testing during the previous two seasons at the SMTIW has been on evaluation of injection well hydraulics and the basin’s response to injection. While these remain important issues, the focus of the WY 2004 testing will be primarily on issues of water quality. A detailed description of the planned WY 2004 testing and monitoring activities is provided in Exhibit 3-A. It should be noted that the total cost estimate for work that is desired to be undertaken during WY 2004 is approximately $104,000, which exceeds the $78,000 (including contingencies) that was approved for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2003-2004 District Budget. To remain within the budgeted amount, several work tasks were removed and are shown as optional tasks. These tasks would only be undertaken if alternate funding sources are identified and become available, subject to separate future authorization from the Board.
RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to amend the Padre contract for assistance in conducting WY 2004 ASR testing in an amount not-to-exceed $77,484. At its December 9, 2003 meeting, the Administrative Committee voted 2 to 0 to recommend that approval.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION: The SMTIW was installed in 2001 and improvements to the Cal-Am system to deliver injection water to the well were completed in 2002. The amount of water injected during testing in WY 2002 and 2003 totaled 343 acre-feet (AF) at this facility. In August 2003, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) issued approval to recover the injected water back into the Cal-Am distribution system for delivery to users on the Monterey Peninsula. Recovery testing commenced on September 3, 2003 and ended on November 4, 2003. A total of approximately 440 AF was recovered from the SMTIW during this period, which is about 130% of the volume injected since the well was completed. Extensive water quality sampling was conducted during both injection and recovery phases during WY 2003, as a means to better evaluate recovery efficiency, chemical interactions with the native ground water, and to respond to concerns regarding the stability and fate of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in the injected and recovered waters. Preliminary results indicate that DBPs are present in the Carmel River system “injectate” water and DBP levels can change during aquifer storage due to the availability of DBP “precursors”, aquifer mixing/dilution and/or biodegradation. DBP levels exhibited a general decline during recovery operations and were well below established limits. In addition, it was found that the recovered water was a blend of the Carmel River system injectate and native ground water, and that the recovered water retained some chemical imprints of the Carmel River system water even after 100% of the injected volume was removed. This suggests that injection in the Seaside Basin is capable of “conditioning” the aquifer even after a greater volume is removed than was injected, and that injection reduces the occurrence of hydrogen sulfide present in the native ground water, which is an ancillary benefit of the ASR program. All water quality results from the WY 2003 recovery testing have not yet been received and reviewed. Once received, they will be included in the summary report of the WY 2003 ASR testing results, which should be available for Board review in January 2004.
IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES: A significant staff effort has been expended planning, coordinating, and overseeing work on the District’s ASR project in the Seaside Basin. It is planned to continue this level of effort during the WY 2004 season. The Fiscal Year 2003-2004 Budget includes a total of $78,000 to conduct injection testing (Summary of Project Expenditures, 2003-2004 Budget, Goal No. 1, Objective 1-2-1 A. 1, Page 45). The estimated project cost for assistance from Padre for WY 2004 injection testing (with 10% contingency) is $77,484. This cost is within the budgeted amount (i.e., $78,000).