Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry: Key Amendments to the Pure Water Program

I want to thank everyone from the University City community who contacted my office or who testified before the City Council on the Pure Water Program item on April 10. I heard your feedback and concerns loud and clear. In response, I proposed several amendments which were included in the motion that passed. Your testimony was very important in convincing my colleagues to support the amendments.

These amendments include:

  • On Genesee Avenue construction to begin during the evening hours after 7:00 PM.
  • No construction on Sundays along Genesee Avenue.
  • Study the possibility of sleeving pipe between Governor Drive and Genesee Ave.
  • On Towne Center Drive and Nobel Drive, construction to begin during the day and to end at 4:00 PM.
  • Extra water trucks to keep down the fugitive dust.
  • Reduce the need for tree removal in the parkways, medians, and public right-of-way.
  • Establish a Working Group of community members – keep to construction schedules per segment to reduce issues with driveway access for office buildings and apartments/condos. Keep each segment to under 90 working days to the extent feasible of construction to keep disruption and noise to a minimum. Working Group to be able to call a phone number attached to a real person.

The Working Group mentioned in the amendment will be comprised of interested community members. We particularly want people who have construction experience. A representative from my office will attend the meetings to assist in the public oversight. The UC working group meetings are expected to start in June/July 2018 and will continue as needed through the end of construction. The feedback will be important in developing the final project schedules and mitigation opportunities.

It is anticipated that construction contracts will be advertised in the fall 2018 and awarded in the spring 2019 with construction starting in mid-2019.

Several community members have asked if the City looked into alternative pipeline pathways. Yes, other potential alignments were considered. Alternative alignments were evaluated based on factors which included utility conflicts, easement and property acquisition, operational complexity, energy demand, schedule, risks, construction feasibility, and community and environmental impacts.

In considering these factors, city staff believed there were significant problems with the alternative pathways. The SDG&E alternative had been reviewed and was not deemed viable due to the environmental impacts and the expense of major tunneling. Another two alternatives were along the 805 freeway which falls under the purview of CalTrans. Its bylaws state that a right of way cannot be accessed if there’s a viable alternative. Unfortunately, CalTrans considered the alignment that was passed as a viable available alternative.

This was a difficult vote. I share many of the community’s concerns which is why it was so important to include amendments that specifically address those issues. If you have any additional questions or concerns relating to the Pure Water Program, or an interest in serving on the UC working group, please contact my University City Council Representative Bridger Langfur at or 619.236.6611.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published, in a slightly different format, in the May 2018 print newsletter; available at

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