CONSIDER expenditure of Budgeted Funds for CONSTRUCTION OF FITCH SCHOOL Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)  TEST Well


Meeting Date:

June 21, 2010





Darby Fuerst,


Water Supply


General Manager

Line Item No.: 

1-2-1 B. 1


Prepared By:

Joe Oliver

Cost Estimate: 


(Cal-Am reimbursable)


General Counsel Review:  NA

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee considered this item on June 15, 2010 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY: The Board will consider approval of budgeted funds to complete construction of the Fitch School Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Test well as part of the planned expansion of the Seaside Basin ASR Project that the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District) is pursuing in cooperation with California American Water (Cal-Am).  This work entails the drilling of a pilot borehole, installation of well casing, screen and gravel pack, development and testing of the well, provision of pump, motor, flow control valve and temporary discharge piping.  A bid notice for the drilling and construction of the ASR Test well by a licensed C-57 drilling contractor was advertised on June 2 and the bid period closes on June 18.  Due to the tight timing of the approvals for this project, the results from the bid opening for the well drilling and construction work is not yet available.  Accordingly, the authorization requested is based on the estimated cost, as described below.


It is intended that this work will facilitate compliance with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Order WR 2009-0060 (i.e., Cease Desist and Order [CDO]), requiring Cal-Am to implement one or more “small projects” within 24 months that total not less than 500 acre-feet per year to reduce unlawful diversions from the Carmel River.  If construction and testing of this ASR test well go as planned, District staff has preliminarily estimated that this well will meet the criteria set forth in the Order.


The proposed work is included in the District’s Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget as a Cal-Am reimbursable item.  The Board’s authorization of this item is with the understanding that the District and Cal-Am will enter into an agreement for cost reimbursement from Cal-Am for this item.  In addition, the District’s authorization is contingent on the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District’s approval for use of the site at the Fitch School as an ASR facility.


RECOMMENDATION:   Upon receipt of bids from qualified C-57 licensed drilling contractors, District staff recommends that the General Manager be authorized to enter into a contract with the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for construction of the Fitch School ASR Test well.  This authorization will include the following work elements and estimated costs:


            Mobilization, sound wall, drilling, well construction, testing                                 $1,275,000

            ASR Test well pump and motor                                                                        $   150,000

            ASR Test well flow control valve                                                                      $     83,000

            Temporary discharge piping                                                                              $     20,000



            Total with 20% contingency                                                                          $1,833,600


District staff will proceed with implementation of this item if the well construction bid is within 20% of the estimated cost, with the total not-to-exceed authorization for the work elements shown above of $1,833,600.  The Board’s approval of this item is with the understanding that the cost for this item will be reimbursed by Cal-Am through an agreement with the District.  The notice of award for this item will be contingent on the MPUSD’s approval for use of the Fitch School site for this purpose.


BACKGROUND:  In August 2008, the District began discussions with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) for potential use of an unused portion of the Fitch Middle School property for potential expansion of the Seaside Basin ASR program (i.e., Phase 2 ASR Project).  In October 2009, the District drilled an exploratory borehole and constructed a monitor well array at the site.  This work confirmed that the site would be suitable for drilling a full-scale ASR test well.  The next step in development of this project is to construct and test a full-scale ASR Test well at the site, which is the subject of this authorization.  It is planned to construct the ASR Test well during this summer so that the well will be ready for injection testing with Carmel River basin source water during the upcoming Water Year 2011 injection period.  The purpose for completing the installation on this accelerated schedule is to satisfy the time requirement in the SWRCB CDO (i.e., small project implementation within 24 months of the October 20, 2009 CDO adoption).  If the ASR Test well is not installed this summer, the next opportunity will be during the Fitch School summer break in 2011.  If work is delayed until then, the well will not be ready for injection operation until December 2011 and the SWRCB CDO time requirement will not have been met.


Assuming successful completion and testing of the Fitch School ASR Test well, it is planned to continue development of this site into a permanent ASR facility, similar to the existing Santa Margarita (i.e., Phase 1 ASR) site that is located approximately 1,000 feet to the southeast of the Fitch School site.  This will entail completion of the necessary engineering designs, environmental review, permitting and construction of permanent facilities, including:  (a) a second full-scale ASR well, (b) permanent utility pipelines, permanent electrical facilities, and permanent backflush percolation system.  The current schedule calls for completion of the permanent facilities at the Fitch School ASR site in December 2012.  There will be no water treatment facilities at the Fitch School ASR site; all water from this site will be treated prior to distribution into the Cal-Am system at the offsite Santa Margarita ASR Facility building, which is currently under construction.


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:  A significant staff effort has been expended in planning, coordinating, analyzing and overseeing work on the District’s ASR testing program in the Seaside Basin.  It is intended to expand that level of effort with the implementation of this next phase of ASR expansion in the basin.  A total cost of $2,435,200 for Phase 2 ASR is included in the District’s Fiscal Year 2010-2011 budget (i.e., Phase 2 ASR Planning & Development, Line item 1-2-1 B).  However, no District funding source for Phase 2 ASR was identified during the budget development process, and all budget costs associated with Phase 2 ASR are assigned as Cal-Am reimbursable costs.  In late May 2010, District and Cal-Am management staff met to work out the details for how these Phase 2 costs can be reimbursed by Cal-Am for this work.  District staff understands that Cal-Am intends to assign these costs to their CDO account.  The District and Cal-Am are in the process of completing a formal agreement for the Phase 2 ASR cost reimbursement; this agreement has not yet been prepared for approval and execution.