Water district releases draft EIR

Four alternatives to Malibu Creek for discharge of surplus recycled water from Tapia Water Reclamation Facility are outlined in a draft Environmental Impact Report released by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District recently.

The EIR study was launched following requirements by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board that Tapia cease discharge of tertiary treated recycled water into Malibu Creek from May 1 through Oct. 31 each year.

Proposed options include: diversion of wastewater to the city of Los Angeles sewer system; discharge into fully concrete-lined portions of the L.A. River drainage basin; expansion of the recycled water delivery system; and underground storage in the Upper Las Virgenes Valley Basin-Ahmanson Ranch area.

Seven additional alternatives outlined in the report are potentially feasible but require more time for implementation, complex negotiations or a poorer cost-to-benefit ratio, district officials said.

The seven additional alternatives are: transfer of recycled water to Calleguas Municipal Water district, reuse by special agencies and districts, discharge into Chatsworth Reservoir, storage in a new reservoir/wetlands at Rancho Las Virgenes, discharge into Triunfo Canyon Creek, land spraying and additional discharge into the Los Angeles River Drainage Basin.

More than 100 ideas initially proposed as potential solutions were evaluated by a technical team that included advisory group members, who reduced the number of options to be included in the EIR to 11. The Joint Venture boards will review the material and additional public commentary during the coming months to determine which proposal or group of proposals will be implemented to achieve the six-month flow prohibition by the RWQCB.

“Public involvement at each step in the process has been a key element of the study,” said Jim Colbaugh, the water district’s general manager. Two advisory groups were formed to provide broad-based input and evaluation by representatives from key groups throughout the Malibu Creek Watershed and the adjacent watersheds in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The 28-member Stakeholder Advisory Group included representation from local cities served by Tapia, homeowners associations, the environmental community, businesses and other special districts. The Agency Advisory group was comprised of experts from state and federal agencies and regulatory departments.

“Input from these groups provided feedback on potential responses from their organizations and helped to assure that a vast range of diverse ideas were considered,” Colbaugh said.

The Tapia Water Reclamation Facility is owned and operated as a joint venture of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District and Triunfo Sanitation District in southeastern Ventura County.

There will be additional opportunities for public comment, and the report is available for review at public libraries including: Calabasas, Chatsworth, Las Virgenes, Daniel K. Ludwig, Malibu and Thousand Oaks, and can be downloaded from the LVMWD web site at lvmwd.dst.ca.us. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 11. A public hearing on the report is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at LVMWD headquarters, 4232 Las Virgenes Rd., Calabasas.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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