Foothill/Portola Chloramine Boosters

Foothill/Portola Chloramine Boosters

Portola Zone 8

This project will construct chloramine booster stations and reservoir mixers at the Foothill Zone 6 and Portola Zone 8 domestic water reservoirs. These projects will allow IRWD to serve the highest quality water from the reservoirs by maintaining optimal disinfection and ensuring sufficient mixing of the water.

Project Update - December 12th (Click for PDF)

Work hours are 8:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday. Due to the holidays, no work will take place December 23rd through December 26th and December 30th through January 2nd.

Contact information: For questions or concerns, please email or call 949-453-5500. For emergencies during non business hours please call 949-453-5300 (24 hours).

Project Information

Background on IRWD Drinking Water Treatment+

Drinking water must be disinfected to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can cause serious illness and/or death. If water is not disinfected, these organisms can grow in the pipelines that transport water to your home. Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia and are used to disinfect drinking water to kill bacteria and other microorganisms that may cause disease.  IRWD has used chloramines to treat water to drinking water standards for 20 years. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplies imported water to IRWD and to many other Southern California water districts, has used chloramines for 30 years.

What are Chloramines?+

Chloramines are a disinfectant that is formed by mixing five parts chlorine with one-part ammonia. Essentially, we tie up chlorine with the ammonia, and as a result, prevent it from reacting with the organic materials to form carcinogenic trihalomethanes. Chloramines last longer than chlorine in pipelines, but have less disinfection power than chlorine. However, chloramines are added to water at a level that ensures their effectiveness in preventing harmful bacteria from growing in the pipelines.

Why is IRWD using Chloramines to Disinfect Drinking Water?+

Chlorine reacts with naturally-occurring organic material found in surface water, forming disinfection by-products.  In 2012, large water systems were required to begin monitoring to comply with a more stringent water quality standard for disinfection by-products by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California.  The new standard was prompted by studies linking chlorine disinfection by-products to a higher risk of cancer.  To comply with this standard, IRWD continues to use chloramines to disinfect drinking water.

Why do we need a Chloramine Booster Station?+

Chloramine booster stations are part of the IRWD drinking water system and are used to treat both groundwater and imported water sources throughout the service area. Similar systems have been installed at 14 other reservoirs throughout the IRWD service area, several of which are in residential neighborhoods. Since the Touraine Place reservoir supplies water downstream to the Water Tank Road reservoir, the placement of the water treatment system at the Touraine Place reservoir will benefit both areas served by each of these reservoirs. The booster station will assist with the existing chloramine water disinfection process by helping maintain a more consistent level of disinfectant in the reservoir. This will allow IRWD to provide a continuous supply of high quality water to the residents of Foothill Ranch and prevent fluctuations in disinfectant levels.

What will the Booster Station Look Like?+

The building will be built with masonry block, similar to the existing pump station building located at the reservoir.  It will be located on IRWD property directly behind the existing pump station. The new building will only be visible to homes located above the existing drinking water reservoir and pump station and to the homes located across the walking trail from the existing IRWD block wall. 

What are the Safety Requirements for the Booster Station?+

The chloramine booster station building for this site was designed to meet or exceed all the applicable safety requirements of the California Building Code for storing the water treatment solutions which will be used at the facility. The design has been reviewed and approved by the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) and will be inspected by the OCFA prior to the operation of the facility.  The safety requirements for this facility include providing 20 feet of separation between the water treatment solution storage tanks and mounting each tank within a secondary containment area. These features ensure that the water treatment solutions are always contained safely within the building. Additionally, the district has installed a leak detection system which provides 24-hour monitoring and will alert a Water Operator in the event of a leak in the tanks or piping system.

Water and Your Pipes+

As a customer of the Irvine Ranch Water District, you may have received information regarding copper pitting or “pinhole leaks” in residential plumbing systems. As your water provider, one of IRWD’s most important jobs is to ensure that the water we deliver to our residents and customers is safe to drink and meets Federal and State water quality standards. IRWD has its own state-certified testing program to ensure that the water delivered to your home meets these standards.

IRWD’s drinking water is a blend of groundwater from the Orange County Groundwater Basin and surface water imported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) that has undergone rigorous treatment and water quality testing. This water is disinfected with chloramines to ensure it remains safe to drink. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: “Chloramines have been used by water utilities for almost 90 years, and their use is closely regulated. More than one in five Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines. Water that contains chloramines and meets the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory standards is safe to use for drinking, cooking, bathing and other household uses.”

The EPA sets federal standards for water quality, including a Federal Lead and Copper Rule. Additionally, the California Division of Drinking Water (DDW) enforces State water quality standards, which in many cases are even more restrictive than the Federal standards. DDW has approved specific test sites for IRWD to monitor water quality and regularly perform testing with protocols and schedules prescribed by DDW. These tests confirm that IRWD water is in full compliance with these standards. For more information, please visit this page.

  1. Project Updates
  2. Project Map
  3. Notices
  4. Environmental Documentation

What's Going on Now

Week of June 19, 2017:

Grinding and capping were performed at the Portola site. Sound trap deflectors will be installed on three exterior vents on the pump station and chloramine buildings at the Foothill site.

Week of June 5, 2017:

Both sites have been up and running successfully since April, and the contractor completed all punch list work on June 1. Staff is bringing the final acceptance of facilities to the Board on June 12.

Week of May 22, 2017:

The final walk-through was performed on May 15. Punchlist items were identified. The Foothill site was paved. Paving for the Portola site is scheduled for June 9.

Week of May 8, 2017:

Operational testing was successfully completed May 5. Remaining final punchlist items to correct are the chlorine analyzer and sodium hypochlorite flow meter at Foothill Zone 6 Reservoir. Staff anticipates going to Board for final acceptance at the first Board meeting in June.

Week of April 24, 2017:

The Division of Drinking Water performed its final inspection of both sites on April 20 and sent an email confirming that IRWD was approved to operate the facilities. Chemicals were delivered to the site on April 25 and 26 and the operational testing began on April 26.

Week of April 17, 2017:

The contractor completed the construction of the new buildings and chemical facilities at both sites in March 2017 and recently commenced start-up testing. The last items of work include the final paving of both sites and the installation of a new rolling entrance gate at the Foothill Zone 6 site. Staff anticipates bringing the project’s final acceptance of facilities to the Board in June.

Week of April 10, 2017:

The contractor successfully completed the loop testing at the Foothill Zone 6 Chloramine Booster station on April 6. The functional testing at both sites occurred this week. Following the successful completion of the functional testing, chemical deliveries will be scheduled for both sites and the operational testing of the full system will be performed for a period of two days at each site.

Week of March 27, 2017:

The contractor completed the final electrical and piping improvements inside the Foothill Zone 6 Chloramine Booster building.   The Foothill Zone 6 loop check is scheduled for April 6. Functional testing at both sites is on hold.

Week of March 13, 2017:

Final paving was completed at Foothill Zone 6 on March 6. Work on mechanical improvements within the chemical building continue. The Portola Zone 8 loop check was completed on March 14, and the functional and system testing is scheduled for the week of March 20.

Week of February 27, 2017:

At Foothill, the contractor completed the yard piping connections and backfill of all trenching. Concrete curb and gutter and base paving were installed on February 28 and March 2, respectively. Electrical contractor is working on wire terminations at Foothill.

Week of February 13, 2017:

At Foothill, the contractor completed the construction of the new 48-inch manhole and the connection to the containment drain system from the new chemical building. The contractor is currently working on installing the new two-inch potable water service line for the chemical building. At Portola, the contractor is installing the chemical tubing and is preparing to begin loop testing of the chemical pumping and vortex mixer equipment.

Week of January 30, 2017:

The contractor completed the construction of the concrete sidewalk and apron surrounding the chemical building at Portola Zone 8. Base paving of the road between the reservoir and the chemical building and all trenching areas was also completed. The contractor is working on coating of the containment area at Foothill Zone 6 and completion of the sewer line

Week of January 16, 2017:

The contractor is installing yard piping and sewer at the Foothill location, and installing the internal piping and reservoir piping and pumps at the Portola site. The electrical contractor is installing wire at the Portola site. Contractors expect to begin startup at the Portola site in the beginning of February.

Week of December 19, 2016:

The contractor is installing conduit at the Foothill site. The contractor has installed half of the sewer line from the chemical building to the new manhole connection point with the existing sewer. At Portola, the contractor is installing the internal piping, eyewash and showers in the chemical building.

Week of December 12, 2016:

The contractor is working on trenching for the yard piping at the Foothill location and installation of the metal trim on the Portola Chemical Building. The electrical contractor is performing wire terminations at the Portola location including the pumps, valves, control panel, and manhole cover.

Week of November 28, 2016:

The contractor has completed construction of the new chemical building and yard piping at the Portola Zone 8 Reservoir site. Ongoing work includes minor site work, e.g. curb and gutter, and electrical work within the building. The contractor will complete the final paving in December and startup testing is scheduled in early January. At the Foothill Zone 6 Reservoir, the contractor has completed the building foundation and walls and is now installing the roof and yard piping. The remaining work items include the installation of the chemical and electrical equipment. The anticipated project completion is April 2017.

Week of November 7, 2016

The contractor is working on installing base and concrete concrete curb and gutter at the Portola site prior to installing the asphalt paving. Subcontractors are installing the metal doors and fascia on the roof at Portola this week. At the Foothill site, the contractor is welding the metal roof trusses.

Week of October 24, 2016:

The contractor completed construction of the chemical building walls at the Foothill location and will proceed with the construction of the steel roof framing on the week of October 31. At the Portola site, the contractor completed installation of the roof sheeting and yard piping and will proceed with the removal of the remaining pavement and rough grading during the week of October 31.

Week of October 10, 2016:

The contractor's subcontractor continued construction of the Foothill Zone 6 chemical building, and completed the installation of the metal roof and new water and chemical lines at Portola Zone 8.

Week of September 26, 2016

The contractor poured the chemical containment wall and equipment pads at the Foothill site during the week of September 19. The also completed welding of the structural steel roof framing at the Portola site on September 23 and will install the metal decking this week.

Week of September 12, 2016:

The contractor poured the chemical building foundation at the Foothill Zone 6 location on September 5 and will pour the containment wall and equipment pads during the week of September 19. The contractor completed welding of the structural steel roof framing at the Portola site on September 16 and will install the metal decking during the week of September 19. A defective solenoid valve on the pressure release at the surge tank was replaced and is now working correctly.

Week of August 29, 2016:

The contractor is installing the steel roof trusses at Portola Zone 8 and is installing rebar and forms for the chemical building foundation at Foothill Zone 6. Most of the heavy excavation at the site has been completed.

Week of August 22, 2016:

At the Foothill Zone 6, the contractor made progress installing the bulk of the drain line under the slab. The bulk of the conduits were installed under the slab and the contractor will modify the street light conduit so it lays in the slurry backfill. Workers were digging out slurry and hope to hae the vapor-barrier installed this week.

Week of August 15, 2016:

The masonry subcontractor completed the installation of the Portola chemical building walls on August 11, and Olsson began excavation of the chemical building foundation at Foothill Zone 6.

Week of August 1, 2016:

The masonry contractor began construction of the chemical buildings walls on August 1. The location of the Foothill chemical building has been revised to prevent overhang of the building roof onto neighboring HOA property. Potholing began of the Foothill site this week.

Week of July 18, 2016:

The concrete stackable block wall behind the chemical building was completed, along with grading of the slope behind the building. IRWD will replant the site following the contractor's work. Trenching will begin for the electrical connections between the new chemical building and the existing pump station.

Week of July 4, 2016:

The contractor continues to work at the Portola Zone 8 Reservoir site. They are currently constructing the stackable block wall behind the chemical building.

Week of June 20, 2016:

The contractor is forming the Portola chemical containment area and will pour the foundation and slab.

Week of June 6, 2016:

The contractor is forming the Portola chemical building slab and will pour the foundation and slab on June 10. Due to a conflict with an existing telemetry line, the external chemical containment sump at the Portola Zone 8 chemical building will be moved to the location of the valve vault, and the valve will be eliminated.

Week of May 23, 2016:

The contractor completed the excavation of the Portola Zone 8 chemical building foundation and began installation of piping and conduit under the building. Forming of the building foundation is expected to begin next week. Halcyon Electric completed installation of the electrical conduit on the interior and exterior of the existing pump station buildings at both Portola and Foothill sites.

Week of May 9, 2016:

Staff removed the existing barbed wire on top of the rolling gate at the Foothill Reservoir site last week. The contractor mobilized to the Portola Site on May 3 and has completed the removal of the existing chain link fencing and clearing and grubbing of the proposed chemical building location. This week, the contractor began rough grading on the site and  construction staking was completed.

Week of April 25, 2016:

The contractor will move a construction trailer and tool storage boxes to the Portola site during the week of May 2.

Week of April 11, 2016:

Landscape replanting at the Portola Zone 8 Reservoir was completed this week.

Week of March 28, 2016:

The limits of the work area at  Portola were staked and a snow fence installed. The landscaping crew removed and relocated some of the existing mature succulent plants with within the limits of the work area at Portola. The pre-construction meeting was held on April 5th.

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