On December 18, 2018, the Soquel Creek Water District (District) certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), adopted Findings of Fact (including a Statement of Overriding Considerations) and a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP), and approved the Pure Water Soquel: Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project (PWS or Project). The Project will supplement natural recharge of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin with purified water. The purified water will be produced from existing secondary effluent from the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility (SC WWTF) and delivered to treatment facilities located in either the City of Santa Cruz or unincorporated Santa Cruz County. Purified water will then be used to recharge the aquifer. The EIR evaluated potential environmental impacts that could occur as a result of implementing the Project and/or alternatives and provided applicable mitigation to reduce the intensity of potential environmental impacts. As part of the Project, the District analyzed this purification treatment process in the EIR, stating that the Project would utilize ultrafiltration (UF) or microfiltration (MF) to yield a tertiary-level of treatment, followed by reverse osmosis (RO) and an ultraviolet light-based advanced oxidation process to further purify the water to meet drinking water requirements and remove potential constituents of emerging concern. (See, e.g. EIR, p. 3-7.) The District determined that the Project would have significant and potentially significant impacts that cannot be mitigated to a level of less than significant, despite the imposition of mitigation measures.
On March 3, 2020, the Board approved the BCVI Phase 1 Design Build contract agreement for the PWS treatment facilities. Since certifying the EIR and approving the Project, a parcel adjacent to the Chanticleer Site was listed for sale (New Parcel), and the District has now approved the acquisition of the New Parcel so that it can be incorporated into the design of the Project, specifically into the construction plans for the Chanticleer Site AWPF, including a building and parking area. In addition to this New Parcel, the District approved a sewer lift station and equalization tank will also be added at the AWPF on the Chanticleer Site to meet the hydraulic grade at the connection point located at Soquel Avenue and 17th Avenue.
An Addendum to the previously certified EIR was prepared to evaluate the potential for any new significant impacts, or a substantial increase in the severity of previously identified significant impacts, to occur. The Addendum determined that neither the Project modifications, nor any changes in circumstances surrounding the Project, result in any new significant impact, or substantially increase the severity of an impact identified in the 2018 PWS EIR. The Addendum further determined that no new mitigation is required beyond those measures in the adopted MMRP. The Addendum was adopted on November 17, 2020.
Since the initiation of the design build contracts, the collaborative design process and additional project data has confirmed that the District will need, pursuant to the District’s December 18, 2018 approvals, BVCI to perform work connected to the procurement services of the microfiltration (MF) – reverse osmosis (RO) systems related to the purification treatment process that was detailed and analyzed in the PWS Project EIR and Addendum.
The contract amendment to the BVCI Design-Build Agreement includes the following scope of work and budget:
• Prepare a Limited Notice to Proceed (LNTP) for the MF/RO system. This includes procuring the system supplier to perform the procurement and engineering coordination, engineering design, and development of MF/RO system supplier submittals.
• Engineering services by BVCI to review, comment, reconcile, and approve design equipment submittals that will inform the Phase 2 Construction phase of the project.
• Note: Purchase of equipment is not part of this amendment.
• The proposed budget is a not-to-exceed amount of $526,864
On August 17, 2021, the District Board of Directors approved the amendment to the Design-Build Agreement for the treatment facilities with BVCI. No new or more severe impacts have been identified requiring additional environmental review of the amendment to the Design-Build Agreement.