Visitors to local beaches in the Dana Point area may not know what they’re missing, but the American Public Works Association (APWA) does. That may be the reason why APWA has recognized the city of Dana Point’s Salt Creek Urban Runoff Treatment Facility as one of their Public Works Projects of the Year for 2006.
The award will be presented to the city of Dana Point and PBS&J, the city’s primary consultant for the project, during APWA’s 2006 International Public Works Congress and Exposition in Kansas City, Mo. The ceremony is scheduled for September 11, 2006.
Salt Creek Beach and South Monarch Beach, two very popular recreational areas in southern Orange County, Calif., had been struggling against frequent beach closures related to unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water. Even after an aggressive campaign by the city to investigate pollutant sources and implement source control programs, postings were not reduced appreciably.
The city of Dana Point, working with water treatment experts from PBS&J, took a unique approach to the problem by choosing to disinfect storm water with an ozone treatment system. While ozone treatment has been proven at potable water treatment plants and world-class aquariums and zoos around the world, treatment of storm water with ozone is considered unique.
The Salt Creek Urban Runoff Treatment Facility began operating in 2005. Within days of initial start up, bacteria levels downstream from the facility were significantly reduced. Furthermore, operational flexibility provided in the design of the facility made it possible for city staff to accommodate anticipated changes in influent water quality and to assure that any residual ozone could be removed from the water before being released back into Salt Creek.
With the assistance of PBS&J staff, the city was also able to secure the largest single award of a Clean Beach Initiative Grant in California history.