SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Santaluz, a community of 836 homes on 3,800 acres, just 20 minutes north of Downtown San Diego, has begun the process to convert the majority of its landscape irrigation from the 50 existing potable (drinking) water meters to recycled water connections. The four-phase project is designed to reduce potable water use at Santaluz by 75 percent and save about 60 million gallons of fresh water annually.
The Santaluz Maintenance Association is responsible for the care and upkeep of landscaping in the community. When the community was developed it implemented drought tolerant landscaping themes to both the common areas and homes to conserve water and reduce irrigation costs. Lawns are not permitted in the front yards of the homes and limited elsewhere, and planting is restricted to a drought tolerant plant palette. This new recycled water conversion project takes water conservation at Santaluz to an even higher level. The first two phases of the project will reduce potable use by half and the lower cost of recycled water will help finance the capital cost of the new delivery system.
Bill Stewart, General Manager of the Santaluz Maintenance Association, said, “San Diego is growing and our water supply is not. We need to be diligent to find ways to preserve our water resources in light of the severe California drought. Switching to recycled water for landscape irrigation, where there is a local source of supply is the responsible action and may prove to be beneficial economically. Fourteen years ago Santaluz was planned to be the most sustainable community in San Diego and it wants to continue that heritage.”
The transition to recycled water or reclaimed water for irrigation at Santaluz is economically feasible thanks in part to the developers of the community, who in 2001 designed and installed a recycled water main line to the community from San Diego’s North City wastewater treatment plant. Initially this line served the Santaluz Club golf course. Community residents have helped pay for this line through property assessments. Now it’s a matter of tapping into that line and installing direct connections and a distribution system to bring this valuable resource to Santaluz common areas. The project is estimated to cost up to $2 million.
Switching to recycled water for irrigation in Santaluz greenbelt areas is the first of two projects planned for the community. It is also researching ways to provide irrigation for its large lot homes by using some of the millions of gallons of recycled water San Diego pumps into the ocean each day. Santaluz Custom Homes maintain from one-half acre to as much as a full acre of landscaping, and even with drought tolerant plantings they still use a significant amount of potable water for irrigation. The City of San Diego has been working well with associations, groups of residents and individual residents to identify opportunities to covert to recycled water and help conserve San Diego’s limited potable water supplies.
Santaluz is San Diego’s premier golf community nestled within a natural habitat of golden rolling hills. The Santaluz Club facilities and its diverse neighborhoods are architecturally inspired by timeless Early California, Coastal Mediterranean and Tuscany themes, creating an authentic Early California setting, unlike any other in the region. For more information on the Santaluz community, visit www.santaluz.com. You can also hear us on our radio channel located at Experience Santaluz on blog talk radio.