June 2021 – Region 9 Reports

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San Diego Section Newsletter Article

Final Major Capital Improvement Project at the Miramar Water Treatment Plant, the Miramar Clearwells Improvements Reaches Completion

by Ed Matthews, PE, Principal Professional, Kleinfelder

At $110 million, the Miramar Clearwells Improvements project has been the largest current capital improvement project for the City of San Diego since 2016. This project essentially replaces the last vestiges of the original Miramar Water Treatment Plant (WTP) – first constructed in 1959. The Miramar WTP supplies treated water to approximately 600,000 North San Diego customers.

Two finished water reservoirs within the WTP – Clearwells 1 and 2, built in 1959 and 1974, respectively – each at the end of their service life, required replacement with new clearwells designed for modern seismic codes. This project provided advanced flexibility in operation, maintenance, and disinfection, culminating in the WTP’s ultimate capacity of 215 million gallons per day (MGD) and enhancing its ability to respond to changing water quality conditions with full redundancy and reliability for its customers.

As the prime consultant, Kleinfelder provided engineering management, design, and construction support services, mobilizing talent from across the U.S. The addition of a 215 MGD pump station required physical modeling in accordance with Hydraulic Institute standards, and the resulting design was custom-engineered for providing the necessary hydraulic grade line through the Miramar WTP for current and future maximum flows.


The Miramar Clearwells Improvement project included:

  • Replacing Clearwells 1 and 2 with two new, seismically designed, 29.5 million gallon (MG) clearwells (59 MG total storage capacity)
  • New instrumentation, analyzer panels for chemical addition, level control, and four dedicated flowmeters
  • Dual-train chlorine contact chamber with new chemical gallery for flow-paced dosing of ammonia, caustic soda, and fluoride, with two dedicated 72-inch-diameter flowmeters
  • 215 MGD low-lift pump station, including a 1:8 scale physical model
  • New 6,000-square-foot (SF) maintenance facility
  • New guard house and state-of-the-art security system
  • Electrical building
  • 1 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar system
  • New landscaping
  • Improvements to the Miramar Pipeline and Miramar 2A Pipeline
  • Replacement and re-routing of chemical piping systems for operator safety


As part of the design, and to support community outreach efforts, Kleinfelder rendered construction and modeled the interim milestones (Maintenance of Plant Operations) and finished facilities using our state-of-the-art 3D Building Informational Modeling (BIM), which provided vital information to the designers, the contractor, and the community regarding the essential planned improvements.

The design team (IEC, Arcadis, Ross Engineering Group, Marum Partnership, Allied Geotechnical Engineers, Martin & Libby) was maintained through the nearly five years of construction, and substantial agency coordination was also required.

The project met all major milestones on schedule and completed the last stages of startup in January 2021 – all with zero unplanned outages of service to over 600,000 customers in Northern San Diego.

The project received the American Public Works Association (APWA) San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter Public Works Project of the Year Award (Utilities Category) in May 2021 and will ensure the safe delivery of clean potable water for decades to City residents.

Miramar Clearwell Improvements – January 2021


Disaster Preparedness Update

by Doug Taylor, P.E., M.ASCE
Chair, ASCE Region 9 Disaster Preparedness Committee

Wildfires are the “New” California Disaster

It’s been a long time since Safety Assessment Program (SAP) volunteers were needed after a major earthquake in California.  Not so with fires.  In 2019, 21 SAP-trained and certified volunteers from ASCE assisted the town of Paradise to perform rapid inspections of approximately 18,000 homes and commercial properties following the deadly Camp Fire.  Last September, not even a year later, 15 ASCE SAP volunteers living in the area of Fresno assisted Fresno County to do rapid assessments of roughly 2,000 homes after the Creek Fire, California’s largest in terms of acres burned.  A week later, more ASCE SAP volunteers assisted Napa County after that fire.  All these volunteers were trained and pre-certified so they could respond when they were needed.

To get trained and certified before COVID, you had to attend a 5-to-6-hour session IN PERSON, typically given on a Saturday.  But now you can get trained and certified in the comfort of your home via Zoom.  No travelling, no expense for meals or the training site… it’s all FREE!

I’m hosting SAP training/certification via Zoom on Saturday, August 21st starting at 9:00 am.  These Zoom sessions go quicker than the in-person sessions, so expect to be done by 1:00 pm.  Just email me at dtaylor@outbackmaterials.com and give me your full name, cell phone number and whether you’re a licensed engineer or “other” professional.  I’m only registering licensed PEs for this session (no EITs for now).

I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity.  Then you’ll be ready to help people who desperately need your skills.


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