TCSD Working to Supplement Water Supply to the Atascadero Basin
–The Templeton Community Services District service area is a water deficient community in need of a new, drought resistant water supply to meet seasonal and projected annual demands. Over the last several years, the district has been working on returning the east side area wastewater flows back to the Meadowbrook wastewater treatment plant for treatment, discharge and subsequent retrieval of water from District wells downstream. The conjunctive use project is a drought responsive project that makes use of the natural processes of wastewater treatment and infiltration into the underflow of the Salinas River where it is later retrieved and distributed to water users. By offsetting the use of the basin’s groundwater supply, the project will extend the supply and availability of the groundwater in dry years.
As shown, Highway 101 bisects the district service area, with two distinct wastewater areas. The west side area flows are treated at TCSD Meadowbrook WWTP (MWWTP) where it undergoes secondary treatment and is discharged into infiltration ponds where it percolates into the underflow of the Salinas River to be subsequently retrieved by TCSD wells downstream. However, the east side area flows are sent to the Paso Robles WWTP for treatment and disposal and are lost to the basin. The conjunctive facilities will redirect all of the wastewater generated in the east side area to the MWWTP, thereby increasing the supply by an additional 242 acre-feet per year (AFY).
The district has long been planning this project. In 2008, the district expanded the MWWTP treatment facilities to 600,000 gpd and is ready to receive the additional wastewater flows from the east side wastewater area captured with this project. The Upper Salinas River Basin Conjunctive Use Project (US CUP) will complete the remaining construction components needed to deliver and utilize a new water supply that would otherwise be lost. The infrastructure improvements needed are the construction of two new lift stations and approximately 15,600 feet of force main to capture and redirect east side flows to the west side collection system. From there, additional upgrades needed to convey the flows to the MWWTP include upgrading the West side Lift Station, upgrading the MWWTP headworks, and finally the addition of tertiary treatment to the MWWTP treatment process to improve the infiltration capacity at the Selby Ponds
These remaining project components are together named the Upper Salinas River Basin Water Conjunctive Use Project (US CUP). The cost of the suite of projects is roughly $8.7 million and the district is in the process of seeking funding to construct the capital improvements. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the Prop 84 IRWM Implementation Grant Project Solicitation Package (PSP) Guidelines in May 2015. There are $4.9 million dollars available to the Central Coast Funding Area, which consists of 6 regions: Santa Cruz County, Pajaro River Watershed, Greater Monterey County, Monterey Peninsula, SLO County and Santa Barbara County.
On August 7, 2015, the district submitted an application in coordination with the county, Oceano and San Simeon for grant funding through Prop 84 in this final round. DWR will announce draft selections in November, with final awards made in December of this year. If the grant application is successful, the district may receive up to $4M in grand funding. The balance of the project may then be financed with a low interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund.