GrokSurf's San Diego

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Posts Tagged ‘Independent Rates Oversight Committee (City of San Diego Public Utilities Commission)’

San Diego water rate increase upcoming topic for City Council

Posted by George J Janczyn on November 15, 2010

An update on the Public Utility Department’s proposed pass-though water rate increase for 2011 was given at today’s meeting of the Independent Rates Oversight Committee (IROC). PUD is requesting to pass along water rate increases that it will have to pay the County Water Authority starting in 2011 (because CWA is passing on the rate increase imposed on it by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California).

The request was already heard by the NR&C Committee and forwarded to the City Council without recommendation (item 5). The Council will be asked to approve Proposition 218 Noticing of recommended rate increases and set a public hearing date.

PUD’s Assistant Director Alex Ruiz supplied the timeline for the next steps:

  • Nov. 29: On the docket for City Council meeting at 2pm
  • Dec. 8 or sooner: Proposed mailing of notice and announcement of public hearing
  • Jan. 24: Proposed public hearing date
  • Mar. 1: Proposed effective date of increase

Here’s the request documentation (with background); includes a sample public notice and other background (the exact pricing data that appear on the sample public notice are not accurate–they have since been revised upwards slightly due to incorrect information previously obtained from CWA).

Note that an earlier temporary rate increase for the IPR Demonstration Project is expired and is no longer being charged.

In other news, PUD’s Director Roger Bailey submitted a status update on the PUD action plan response to IROC’s 2008 Annual Report, which includes the latest on the IPR Demonstration Project. Also, IROC continues to discuss the issue of low-income ratepayer assistance with PUD; the PUD’s Recycled Water Study is expected to be completed by the end of December; and the committee will slightly increase its meeting time beginning January 2011.

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San Diego water news tidbits from IROC

Posted by George J Janczyn on October 18, 2010

The Independent Rates Oversight Committee (IROC) meeting today yielded a few interesting updates from the Public Utilities Department on top of the heavily loaded agenda.

The three water main breaks widely reported in the press on Sunday were actually two water main breaks. The third incident downtown near Kettner Blvd was actually a blown gasket on a PVC-to-cast iron pipe coupling, according to the PUD’s Jim Fisher, Assistant Director of Water Operations. The other two breaks involved older cast iron pipes. The city’s average time to shut down a main after a break is about 2 hrs, 15 min.

Stan Griffith, from Wastewater Collection, reported that there have been no sewer spills since September 4 — 43 days ago. In response to committee member Jack Kubota’s question about the reason for that, Griffith noted that the city is still on track with replacing 45 miles of sewer lines per year, including the Lake Murray Trunk Sewer replacement project currently underway. Other factors include: newer technology being used for periodic cleaning/flushing of pipes allows higher pressure for better cleaning and permits larger pipes to be serviced. Each spill gets a CCTV exam to help determine the cause. The goal is to have zero spills caused by maintenance issues. Mr. Kubota noted that sewer spills aren’t always caused by problems with plumbing, as turned out to be the case with the large Carlsbad sewage spill that was an indirect effect of an electrical problem elsewhere.

Alex Ruiz, PUD Assistant Director, promised to conduct a water rate workshop for IROC before the end of November. The workshop will be open to the public. He also reported a plan for a pilot deployment of automated water meters. Also…PUD is short about 102 positions right now, for a vacancy rate of 6.5%. He said the department is having difficulty recruiting qualified persons, especially for vital technical positions, and attributed the problem in part to the retirement plan and public relations issues.

Here’s the complete agenda packet for the meeting:


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