County to Replace Cayucos Water Main

Written by Estero Bay News

July 16, 2023

A project to replace a water main on Hacienda Drive in Cayucos is out for bids.

San Luis Obispo County is out for bids on a project to replace a water main in Cayucos that’s been leaking and losing nearly 30% of the water it carries.

On June 20, County Supervisors okayed a request from Public Works to advertise for bids on a project to replace the water main on Hacienda Drive, Cayucos, continuing a major upgrade of the County Services Area 10A watery system that supplies drinking water and powers the fire hydrants for much of the community.

Project Manager, Desiree Bravo’s report to Supervisors said, “The Hacienda Drive water main is an integral part of the water system in County Service Area (CSA) 10A and is considered the highest priority for replacement. It conveys water to and from two 220,000-gallon storage tanks that provide equalization, emergency, and fire protection storage.”

She added that over the past several years, “ more than 50% [~157 staff labor hours] of the total system leaks and pipeline breaks occurred along Hacienda Drive. These breaks contributed to an average of 28% of total annual system losses, exceeding the acceptable 10%-15% range.”

They had some really bad breaks on Hacienda Drive just recently. “In March/April 2023, three different pipe breaks occurred along Hacienda Drive,” Brave said, “causing water service interruptions and the issuance of boil water notices to the affected residents.”

The pipeline project would replace some 1,750-feet of 6-inch AC pipe with 8-in PVC (plastic) pipe running up Hacienda from Ocean Boulevard to the north end of Hacienda Drive. They also plan to move the pipe to the other side of the roadway to avoid an area that is eroding downhill and keep the new pipe from breaking too. “This improvement,” Bravo said, “will reduce the time spent performing waterline leak repairs each year, improve fire flow demands in the system, and reduce overall water system losses.”

The engineer’s estimate for the construction part of the project is over $640,000. The bid was posted July 6 and the 27th is the deadline to bid on the job.

But the current budget for the job tops $931,000 with a total estimated cost of $1.3 million. Money is coming out of the CSA-10A operating budget. 

Under the County’s project budget it’s already spent $72,600 in prior year costs; and has $173,300 for preliminary engineering costs budgeted from the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget with another $246,000 expected costs for engineering.

It budgeted $607,300 for construction in 2022-23 and upped that to $708,000. It also includes $60,000 in “soft costs” and $202,000 in contingencies for the total $1.3 million budgeted.

Still it may not be enough.

“A corresponding budget adjustment will be submitted at the time of contract award for the anticipated project budget gap,” Bravo said.

This pipeline replacement goes with the replacement of an old water tank and addition of a second tank on the hilltop off Hacienda Drive completed a couple of years ago. The work was prompted by not only leaks but also a lack of redundancy in the system, needed for to ensure water is available for firefighting should the single tank fail for whatever reason.

Now with new, reliable storage tanks it’s apparently time to deal with the leaky pipe.


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