Company:
Irvine Ranch Water District
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Environmental Engineering Project of the Year
Additional Files
Completed Diversion at Como Channel
Pipeline Prep from Warner to Moffett
Valencia Wet Well Structure
Edinger Wet Well Structure
Dewatering Well drilling (Como)-Jack & Bore
Valencia Drain Diversion
Edinger Drain Dversion
Como Diversion
Main Street Connection
Additional Information

The project consists of 3 diversions and a pipeline, along Peters Canyon Channel, that ultimately connects to an OCSD trunk sewer. Discharges are transported for secondary treatment at the OCSD treatment facility, then transferred to the co-located OCWD Groundwater Replenishment System.  At the GWRS, flows will be purified using a three-step advanced treatment process

Peters Canyon (Wash) Channel Water Capture and Reuse Pipeline Project

Project Location:

Peters Canyon (Wash) Channel between Walnut Avenue and Main Street, Irvine, CA, Newport Bay Watershed, Orange County (see attached map)

Project Description:

The project is owned and operated by Irvine Ranch Water District on behalf of the project funding partners, City of Irvine, Orange County Flood Control District, County of Orange, City of Tustin, and Caltrans-D12.

• Project Development: City of Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, County of Orange, Orange County Flood Control District, City of Tustin, California Department of Transportation, Michael Baker Int’l
• BMP Design: Tetra Tech, Inc.
• Construction: E. J. Meyer Company
• Operation and Implementation: Irvine Ranch Water District

The Peters Canyon Wash Water Capture and Reuse Pipeline Project captures and permanently diverts discharges of selenium and nitrogen-laden ground and surface waters at four locations along Peters Canyon Wash Channel in the Newport Bay Watershed for beneficial reuse.  The project is a successful example of regional and multi-level inter-governmental cooperation to address non-point source-driven water quality impairments. 

The Project Partners include the City of Irvine, the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), County of Orange and Orange County Flood Control District (OCFCD), City of Tustin and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) who collectively designed and constructed a $12.8M system of diversion structures and installed 6,000 feet of pressurized pipeline to address a series of point and non-point source discharges of selenium and nitrogen along Peters Canyon Wash Channel.

The system captures flows from the CalTrans 241/261 TollRoad dewatering facility, Como Channel, Edinger Circular Drain and Valencia Drain, intercepting flows that previously discharged into Peters Canyon (Wash) Channel, a major tributary to San Diego Creek and Newport Bay.  Captured flows are transported through an underground pipeline to the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) for treatment and subsequent transfer to the Orange County Water District (OCWD) Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS).  The diverted flows are ultimately reused through infiltration in either injection wells to create a seawater intrusion barrier or to OCWD’s percolation basins in Anaheim to recharge the groundwater basin and local drinking water supply. 

The Newport Bay watershed is heavily developed and has undergone extensive historic hydromodification. Historically, a naturally occurring geologic marsh known as Cienega de las Ranas or “Swamp of the Frogs” covered the project area.  Over geologic time, naturally occurring selenium from the foothills was collected and immobilized in this marshy lowland, which stretched from Upper Newport Bay over 8 miles upstream to the Red Hill area in Tustin.  Land use and local hydrology has changed dramatically in the watershed over the last 150 years.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, land use changed from ranching and grazing to farming as wetlands were drained and channelization of streams was widespread.  After World War II, hydrological changes continued as land uses shifted from agricultural to urban with subsequent flood control improvements of local creeks, groundwater dewatering for transportation infrastructure and remediation activities at former military installations, and increasing residential irrigation and resulting urban runoff. 

Today, this area is no longer a marsh, but selenium and nitrogen-laden groundwater impacts surface water drainages where it may create a biological risk for birds and fish throughout the watershed.  Selenium is a naturally occurring element that persists in soils and aquatic sediments and readily bio-accumulates through the food chain at levels that can cause adverse effects on higher-level aquatic life and wildlife, including fish and birds that prey on fish and invertebrates.  Though selenium is an essential nutrient for fish, birds, animals, and humans, there is a very narrow margin between nutritionally optimal and potentially toxic dietary exposures for vertebrate animals.  Excessive amounts of selenium have been found to cause toxicity in wildlife.  Nutrient loading to Newport Bay, particularly from the San Diego Creek watershed, contributes to seasonal algal blooms which can create a recreational and aesthetic nuisance. These algal blooms may also adversely affect wildlife.  Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for both selenium and nitrogen are in place for the Newport Bay watershed including Peters Canyon Wash Channel. Non-point sources, primarily exfiltrating perched groundwater, have been identified as a key source of both pollutants.

The Project captures and eliminates three of the largest sources of selenium discharging into Peters Canyon Wash Channel: Como Channel (average Se concentration 28.5 ppb, annual load 49.25 lbs), Edinger Circular Drain (average Se concentration 128 ppb, annual load 56.34 lbs), and Valencia Drain (average Se concentration 29.25, annual load 52.75 lbs). The pipeline will also provide a permanent diversion of the Caltrans dewatering facility (average Se concentration 59.6 ppb, annual load 98.3 lbs) to OCSD to replace a temporary diversion to IRWD. The Caltrans diversion was temporary due to the fact that IRWD’s treatment processes cannot remove selenium and 100% of its treated flows are recycled within the watershed.  Together, these diversions will reduce selenium loading to the watershed by an estimated 257 lbs per year and nitrate loadings by 70,000 lbs per year. 

The Project pipeline begins at Walnut Avenue in Irvine where discharges from the Caltrans 261 Tollway GWTF will be collected (see attached map).  The pipeline runs along the east side of Peters Canyon Channel, under the existing bike trail in OCFCD right-of-way, approximately 10,000 feet from Walnut Avenue to Barranca Parkway.  In this reach low flows from Como Channel, Edinger Circular Drain, and Valencia Drain will be captured by diversion structures and added to the pipeline.  At Barranca Parkway, the pipeline crosses the channel and travels along the west side past the confluence with San Diego Creek approximately 6,000 FT to the OCSD Main Street sewer.  At the OCSD treatment facility, discharges will receive secondary treatment and be transferred to the co-located OCWD Groundwater Replenishment System.  At the GWRS, flows will be purified using a three-step advanced treatment process consisting of micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide and either injected through wells to create a seawater intrusion barrier or to OCWD’s percolation basins in Anaheim. Per OCSD dry weather diversion policy, the diversions will operate during dry weather conditions, and will be shut down temporarily during rain events. The total estimated dry weather diversion flow rate is 3.12 CFS, or approximately 736 MG/YR. 

The Project partners have been working to address selenium and nitrogen water quality issues in the Newport Bay since 2004 and the inception of the Nitrogen and Selenium Management Program (NSMP). The NSMP Working Group consists of staff level technical representatives of watershed stakeholders that include state, county, and city agencies, water districts, and private entities that agreed to fund and implement a Work Plan to identify sources, environmental impacts and potential treatment options for selenium and nitrogen groundwater-related inflows in the Newport Bay watershed. The Working Group was created in response to an NDPES permit issued by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (R8-2004-0021) to regulate short-term groundwater-related discharges.  After completion of the NSMP Work Plan, the Project Partners (5 of the 14 member NSMP) came together to collectively design a treatment project to address both partner-owned discharges (Caltrans, IRWD and City of Irvine- dewatering, Irvine and Tustin- municipal storm drains)  as well as non-point source infiltration loading (County of Orange/OCFCD -channel). The partnership harnessed the technical strengths and necessary project support from each member to make the project a success:
• IRWD: Pipeline design, construction and operation expertise
• County of Orange/OCFCD: Project right-of-way, WQ Compliance
• City of Irvine: Project Partnership management and grants acquisition
• City of Tustin: Project coordination with City’s planned channel widening project
• Caltrans: Funding

The Project provides necessary regulatory compliance for all funding partners, but individually, none of the partners could have funded or completed individual projects to achieve compliance or the collective reduction of pollutants provided by the pipeline. While in hindsight the collective approach seems obvious; however, the level of effort needed to coordinate the actions of four public entities governed by separate elected bodies and a state agency was substantial and often times daunting. The project funding and operations agreement was designed to address the entire project process from design, construction bidding, contractor selection, and construction project management, to project ownership and operations and maintenance.
This level of inter-governmental coordination required careful internal stewardship to keep management and elected officials supportive of the project, as well as a willingness to compromise to address individual entity requirements and policies. Due to the recognized collective benefits from the project and strong commitment to watershed cooperation, the Project partners were able to complete the Peters Canyon (Wash) Channel Water Capture and Reuse Pipeline 4 months ahead of schedule and within budget.

Project Justification:

The Peters Canyon Wash Water Capture and Reuse Pipeline Project captures and permanently diverts discharges of selenium and nitrogen-laden ground and surface waters at four locations along Peters Canyon Wash Channel in the Newport Bay Watershed for beneficial reuse.  The project is a successful example of regional and multi-level inter-governmental cooperation to address non-point source-driven water quality impairments.

Special Circumstances:

The level of effort needed to coordinate the actions of four public entities governed by separate elected bodies and a state agency was substantial and often times daunting. Completing the cooperative agreement was one of the bigger challenges for this project.  Every aspect of the agreement was painstakingly worked out amongst the agency representatives, their directors and counsel. With regular meetings over a couple of years and with the diligence of each participating agency, the agreement was finally completed in time to receive grant funding.

   
• 2016 APWA B.E.S.T Award for Drainage, Water ,Wastewater Project
• The project was awarded a $1M Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management Round 2 Implementation Grant from the Santa Ana River Project Authority- One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Program AND a $3.2 M Orange County Transportation Authority Measure M2 Environmental Cleanup Program Grant in recognition of the environmental benefits provided by the project.

Project Attachments:

• 2016 APWA B.E.S.T Award for Drainage, Water ,Wastewater Project
• The project was awarded a $1M Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management Round 2 Implementation Grant from the Santa Ana River Project Authority- One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Program AND a $3.2 M Orange County Transportation Authority Measure M2 Environmental Cleanup Program Grant in recognition of the environmental benefits provided by the project.

Award Citation::

The collective efforts of the Project partners successfully designed and constructed a $12.8M system of diversion structures and installed 6,000 feet of pressurized pipeline to address discharges of selenium and nitrogen along Peters Canyon Channel for beneficial reuse and to improve water quality in Newport Bay.

Suggested Award Summary:

The project benefits dischargers throughout the Newport Bay Watershed, covering portions of Supervisorial Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5. The Project partners include the City of Irvine, the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), County of Orange and Orange County Flood Control District (OCFCD), City of Tustin and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) who collectively designed and constructed a $12.8M system of diversion structures and installed 6,000 feet of pressurized pipeline and other features to address a series of point and non-point source discharges of selenium and nitrogen along Peters Canyon Channel for beneficial reuse and improving water quality in Newport Bay.
The Project provides necessary regulatory compliance and reduction of pollutants provided by the pipeline for all funding partners. The project funding and cooperative agreement was designed to address the entire project process from design, construction bidding, contractor selection, and construction project management, to project ownership and operations and maintenance. Due to the recognized collective benefits from the project and strong commitment to watershed cooperation, the Project partners were able to complete the Peters Canyon (Wash) Channel Water Capture and Reuse Pipeline 4 months ahead of schedule and within budget.

CEC

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