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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 26th, 2022, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 48 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 22, Issue 48

Solvang adds multi-year renovation projects to sewer master plan

By Caleb Wiseblood

Over the course of the next two decades, the city of Solvang predicts it will spend more than $10 million on renovating its sewer system.

The estimate was included in the update to the city’s sewer master plan—which, until recently, had remained unmodified since the late 1980s. Solvang Utilities Director Jose Acosta sought approval for the proposed update during the City Council’s Jan. 24 meeting.

The Solvang City Council approved an update to its Sewer Master Plan, which includes recommended pipeline replacements and other improvements to the city’s wastewater collection system.

“Most of the city’s sewer collections and infrastructure was constructed between the 1950s and the 1970s by the Solvang Municipal Improvement District,” Acosta said during the meeting. “The city of Solvang incorporated in 1985, and the first and only SMP [Sewer Master Plan] was prepared shortly thereafter in 1988.”

Water Systems Consulting, a firm based in San Luis Obispo, was selected by the Solvang City Council to run an assessment of the city’s wastewater collection system, including lift stations, pipelines, and force mains. Acosta summarized the firm’s findings and recommendations during his report.

The firm determined that approximately 20 segments of pipe in the city “exceed capacity criteria,” Acosta said. The updated master plan includes two pipeline replacement options for the City Council to consider, as well as some recommended improvements to the city’s pump stations. 

Overall, the new plan includes 14 proposed projects, some of which are projected to take one to five years, while others could take 11 to 20 years. The estimated total cost for all of the projects is $10.4 million. 

After Acosta’s report, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Infanti called the update well done and extremely comprehensive, but raised one concern.

“Should we do a new study every five years?” asked Infanti, who said he wanted to make sure a reevaluation policy was included in the update, to prevent waiting another three decades to revisit the plan. “We’re not going to just let it sit on the shelf again?”

Acosta called the new plan a living document, and said that it’s meant to be continually reviewed every few years.

Infanti also expressed concern over future developments in the city, and how those developments would impact the projected goals included in the sewer master plan.

“It’s always a concern when new construction comes to town, when the contractors don’t take into account water and sewer,” Acosta said. “But I think this plan does take into consideration and does show that we are adequately able to take on future growth.

“We’ll just have to continue monitoring how quickly the growth comes and readjust the plan and modify it accordingly,” Acosta continued. “We will keep an eye on that.”

In a 5-0 vote, the City Council unanimously approved the updated plan and directed staff to incorporate the plan’s recommended projects into the city’s 10-year capital improvement program.

Weekly Poll
What type of vegetable would you grow in a free community garden?

Brussel Sprouts, they are the best.
Broccoli because it can go with any meal.
Tomatoes, although I think those are technically a fruit.
French fries!

| Poll Results

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