The Ramona Municipal Water District says they're still in the design phase of a natural gas line extension for the Poway Pump Station, but the project is "on schedule" and under budget.
District Engineer Mike Metts told the Ramona water board at the Feb. 12 meeting that there is no projected end date yet for the natural gas line project, which will serve as a backup source of energy to the Poway Pump Station, but expects construction of a pipeline in about two to four months.
"Everything's moving forward as we intended it to," Metts said at the meeting.
The natural gas line is being sought as an option to continue to pump water up to Ramona in case of another power outage or fire. San Diego Gas & Electric owns the gas line that runs under Espola Road in Poway that RMWD will connect to the metering station at their pump station.
On Oct. 23, the board of directors approved the $100,000 of funding for the project's first phase. To date, the district has spent $54,150.
"We're still projected to be inside our overall budget ($1.9 million)," Metts said. "We're expecting to come in well under that."
Easements are required to be purchased by SDG&E before the project can move forward:
- two from the State of California
- two from the County of San Diego
- two from the City of Poway
- one involving the RMWD
Due to CEQA requirements, construction will also have to wait until after bird nesting season on Sept. 15, Metts said.
"This gives us plenty of time to get things ready," Metts said, referring back to the easements.
Director Joe Zenivoc said he was hoping the project could be done in time for the 2013 fire season, but realizes it would be "pushing it."
The district engineer said that they've been moving forward with design plans to determine connections, pipe sizes and other construction details.
RMWD General Manager David Barnum told the board two weeks ago that natural gas has been determined to be the best option for a backup power plan for the pump station, as generators are costly.
"Natural gas price is at a 30-year low," Barnum said. "There has never been a gas outage here in San Diego, according to SDG&E."