Vista, CA -Since having been unanimously appointed to the Board of Directors and serving as your Director representing Division 3 that includes central and northeast Vista and unincorporated areas of the county of San Diego, it is important to know some of the recent items that I have proposed for consideration for future agenda items by the full Board of Directors.
Renaming of Edgehill Reservoir – In honor of Director Paul Dorey who passed away in April 2022, I have proposed that the existing Edgehill Reservoir and Pump Station currently under construction for replacement be renamed in honor of Director Dorey’ service on the Board of Director for over 15 years and nearly 33 years of employment with the Vista Irrigation District (VID).
The new reservoir will have the almost double the existing capacity and be able to store 2.92 million gallons of drinking water. The pump station will allow VID to transfer water throughout the distribution system in times of emergencies, such as wild fires, to where it is needed. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2024.
Wildfire Readiness and Resiliency – At the VID Board meeting on September 7, a proposal was presented for District staff to consider if any sites are suitable for an installation of a future Heli-Hydrant, especially when site improvements and upgrades are being planned, and report back to the Board. A Heli-Hydrant is typically a12-15 foot wide open tank, near an existing reservoir, holding up to 5,000 gallons of water for firefighting helicopters.
Rainbow Municipal Water District (RWMD), a neighboring water district of VID worked with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the North County Fire Protection District to complete the first Heli-Hydrant in San Diego County. Currently the only other Heli-Hydrant in use is in Yorba Linda in Orange County. The partnership between fire and water is a strong one. The availability of a Heli-Hydrant within the VID service area would be a valuable asset to our ratepayers, community and region for the protection of lives and property against the increasing threat of wildfire.
A video of Rainbow Municipal Water District’s successful test of it’s new Heli-Hydrant can be viewed at: https://www.rainbowmwd.com/rainbow-municipal-water-district-s-test-of-the-rapid-aerial-water-supply
Staff was also encouraged to evaluate sites and construction specifications to ensure wildfire resiliency at VID sites most vulnerable to wildfire threats. A few of the best practices asked to be looked into further may include:
- Specification for new facilities to of fire resistance construction including concrete building / metal roofs.
- Installation of emergency generator “quick connect” plugs where needed. These should be coordinated for inter-operational use of generators from other water agencies under mutual aid.
- Installation of site impact sprinkler systems on building or fences to protect assets and equipment, both defensively and offensively.
- Maintain or continue to increase defensible space and vegetation / weed control at sites.
- Installation asphalt / gravel (non-combustible materials) at sites to prevent spot fires from ambers. These materials can also reduce vegetation growth and site erosion.
Vista Irrigation District board meetings are generally held at 9:00 AM on the first and third Wednesday of each month. All meetings are held at the district office located at 1391 Engineer Street in Vista. Meetings are open to the public.
If you have feedback on these proposals or have other ideas to offer, please reach out to me as your VID Board Member at Peter.Kuchinsky@vistawater.org or as your candidate for the Division 3 seat on November 8th at Kuchinsky4VIDWater@gmail.com or @Kuchinsky4VIDWater.