Council updated on water recycling facility construction progress

September 02, 2009
Santa Paula City Council

Santa Paula’s new water recycling plant is about 70 percent complete, the City Council learned at the August 17 meeting.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesSanta Paula’s new water recycling plant is about 70 percent complete, the City Council learned at the August 17 meeting. Brian Cullen, president of PERC Water, which partnered with Alinda Capital Investments to Design/Build/Operate/Finance the $58 million facility, said the project has “been going very well; we’re on schedule,” and about 70 percent completed.Construction is expected to be finalized in mid-December, and Cullen said the facility would be “up to snuff” operationally in June 2010. The city, which averted millions in fines for pollution violations by building the new facility, is under a state mandated deadline of December 2010 for full permitted operation.Cullen said the percolation ponds are “pretty much done” and the project so far has utilized 88,000 man hours, “about 88 percent union labor... and we’re very pleased about the contractors we retained,” including Santa Paula based Reyes Masonry.The water recycling facility’s building will also include space for an education center, and Cullen noted that “over the past year or so we have been working on” various facets of equipment design. “We invested in additional equipment” that represents a savings of about 15 percent that Cullen said would be shared with the city. PERC is also investigating the use of solar energy, first discussed by city staff before the project contract was let.
Cullen noted it’s been just over one year since ground was broken for the project - located off Peck Road just south of the city’s existing facility - which was recognized with an international award for the creative financing package.“You are correct that people are watching” the project, noted Councilman Bob Gonzales, who said he was asked “a lot of questions” about the new facility at a Ventura Regional Sanitation District meeting. “I’m very stoked about that” interest, and Gonzales asked about the recent construction accident that involved collapsing trusses.Cullen said although about a week was lost due to the incident, it did not adversely impact the construction schedule.Mayor Ralph Fernandez said he is looking forward to the completion of the facility: “It took a long way to get here, a long battle,” and “I appreciate all the work you and your company have done for us.”

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