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, which 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. 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. 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.
Since certifying the EIR and approving the Project, the District adopted an Addendum on November 17, 2020 (“2020 Addendum”), with regard to minor revisions to the PWS Project. 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.
A subsequent Addendum has been prepared with regard to further minor revisions to the Project (“2021 Addendum”). The 2021 Addendum evaluates design changes to the treatment facilities to consolidate all PWS treatment systems at a single site (Chanticleer) and the incorporation of an ozone pretreatment system in lieu of a nitrifying biological aerated filtration pretreatment system. Consolidation of treatment systems at a single site was analyzed in the previously certified EIR and a part of the approved Project, and as such, the environmental impacts based on the 2021 design changes to the Project have been analyzed relative to the impacts disclosed in the previously certified EIR. The 2021 Addendum determined that the minor modifications would not result in substantial changes to the previously certified EIR or 2020 Addendum because it would not involve new significant impacts, nor would it substantially increase the severity of an impact identified in the certified EIR.
Amendment to BCVI Design Build Agreement
On March 3, 2020, the Board approved the Black and Veatch Construction Inc. (BCVI) Phase 1 Design Build contract agreement to design and conduct preconstruction activities for the PWS treatment facilities. As part of the collaborative design progression, the District approved an amendment to its Design Build agreement with BCVI to address the construction, start-up and commissioning services, and warranty (Phases 2 and 3) for the Treatment Facilities Project. The primary elements of the scope of work include:
• Construction of the source-water pump station and tertiary treatment facility (cloth filter-UV system) and associated infrastructure and appurtenances at the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility
• Construction of the advanced water purification facility (ozone pretreatment, membrane filtration-reverse osmosis-UV-AOP, and post-treatment) and associated infrastructure and appurtenances at the Chanticleer Site
• As part of the District’s partnership with the City of Santa Cruz, a 6-inch recycled water line will be constructed at the SCWWTF funded by the City of Santa Cruz
Amendment to BC’s Scope of Work
Brown and Caldwell (BC), as Program Manager for the PWS Program, assists the District with Program delivery oversight, technical support, and Owner’s Advisory services. To continue with the program delivery and execution of the projects under the PWS Program, the District approved an amendment to PC’s scope of work to capture the additional level of effort required with the revised program schedule and updated staffing support for the construction phase oversight. Key services under this amendment include:
• Providing Project Management (Lead) for the Treatment and SWIP Wells Projects
• Providing Construction-phase Quality Assurance (field inspectors and QA Lead)
• Contracts and Technical Oversight for the two Design-Build contracts including advisory and guidance roles for the District team
• Support for the long-term Operations contract development with the third-party Operator for the Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) and the City of Santa Cruz
• Ongoing Program Management and Technical Advisory support including Permitting, Engineering Review during construction and project records management
On October 5, 2021, the District Board of Directors took the following actions related to the PWS Project: (1) adopted Resolution 21-25, approving the adoption of the 2021 Addendum, (2) adopted Resolution 21-26, authorizing and entering into an Amended and Restated Design-Build Agreement with BCVI, authorizing the General Manager to sign a purchase order not to exceed $87,022,827 for Phase 2 and Phase 3 services, and authorizing the General Manager to sign a purchase order in the amount of $2,316,247 for the design optimization and value engineering services; (3) authorized the Board President to amend the existing professional consultant services agreement with BC and authorize the General Manager to sign a purchase order in the amount not to exceed $3,486,425, and (4) directed and authorized the General Manager to work with the City of Santa Cruz on development of a reimbursement agreement for the recycled water line at the SCWWTF in the amount of $676,480 and other construction items associated with the PWS Project. No new or more severe impacts have been identified requiring additional environmental review of these actions.