Skip to main content

Carmel Area Wastewater District /Pebble Beach Community Service District  Reclamation Project

The CAWD/PBCSD Reclamation Project (Project) is a cooperative effort involving the Carmel Area Wastewater District (CAWD), the Pebble Beach Community Services District (PBCSD), the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD), and the Pebble Beach Company (PBCo). This cooperative effort did not create a new or separate legal entity.

The Project provides treated wastewater to irrigate golf courses and open space areas in Pebble Beach, which frees up potable water previously used for irrigation. The original Project involved the construction of a new tertiary treatment plant and laboratory facilities located on the site of the existing CAWD secondary wastewater treatment plant, the construction of a new reclaimed distribution system, including a 2.5 million gallon storage tank, and irrigation system improvements. Construction of the original Project began in January 1993 and was completed in October 1994. The Project assets are owned principally by CAWD and PBCSD, and consist primarily of the following: Assets owned by CAWD: (1) a new tertiary treatment plant, (2) secondary process improvements, (3) new laboratory facilities, (4) a reclaimed water pump station, (5) related computer equipment and, (6) a small portion of the reclaimed water pipeline. Assets owned by PBCSD: (1) approximately seven miles of reclaimed water distribution system pipeline, (2) the Forest Lake Reservoir, (3) a 2.5 million gallon storage tank, (4) a potable water pump station, and (5) a reclaimed water booster pump station. The tertiary treatment plant produces water which meets Title 22 standards specified by the California Department of Health Services, which is a quality acceptable for human contact.


The original Project was financed by Certificates of Participation (COP), which were executed and delivered at the direction of MPWMD in December 1992 in the amount of $33,900,000. MPWMD provided the funds necessary to construct and operate the Project and then obtained ownership of the reclaimed water for the purpose of resale. PBCo guaranteed payment of construction costs of the Project as well as any operating deficiencies. The debt obligations incurred by MPWMD to finance the project constitute limited obligations of MPWMD, payable solely from the net operating revenues generated by the sale of reclaimed water produced by the Project and, if such reclaimed water revenues are insufficient, from payments on a Bond Letter of Credit provided by Bank of America (the credit bank) through a reimbursement agreement between PBCo and credit bank. PBCo pays the letter of credit fees, as well as principal and interest payments on debt obligations as needed, as a subsidy to the Project.

The activities of the Project are overseen by a five member management committee containing two representatives from the CAWD board, two from the PBCSD board, and one from the PBCo.

Subsequent to the completion of the original facilities, the Project has been expanded to increase the quantity and quality of reclaimed water. The expanded project utilizes Forest Lake Reservoir located in Pebble Beach which provides 114 million gallons of storage capacity. The Reservoir is filled with reclaimed water during winter months when there is excess production at the treatment plant. The stored water is used during summer months when the daily irrigation demand exceeds treatment plant production capacity. PBCSD purchased the Reservoir from California-American Water Company in 1998 and rehabilitated it to meet State Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams requirements. The original construction of the Reservoir was completed in March 2006. The construction costs of approximately $13 million were financed by the sale of Pebble Beach Company water entitlements.

The Microfiltration/Reverse Osmosis (MF/RO) phase of the project, located at the CAWD plant site, began design in 2006 and construction was completed in 2009. The intent of the MF/RO phase is to reduce the sodium content of the tertiary reclaimed water from 150 mg/l to less than 55 mg/l to reduce the stress on the golf greens and eliminate the need for flushing the courses with potable water. The design capacity for the MF/RO is 1.5 million gallons with an expected blend of 80% MF/RO water and 20% MF water. The cost of the MF/RO phase was approximately $20 million.

The cost of the Expanded Project was financed through the sale of water entitlements owned by PBCo to residential property owners within Pebble Beach, currently at $250,000 per acre foot, which is subject to change. At June 30, 2009 approximately $26 million had been raised through these sales and interest. The funds from the sales were deposited in a restricted escrow account where they were invested in short-term federal government securities before being spent for the Expanded Project. All project costs in excess of those raised through the sale of Water Entitlements are being covered by the PBCo.

Join our mailing list