Water Infrastructure Program

With the goal of increasing the reliability of drinking water for water customers now and generations to come, the City of Poway is undertaking the largest capital improvement program (CIP) in the city’s 40-year history. 

Read the December 2022 Update

Water Projects Overview

The CIP will include replacing the clearwell (water storage reservoir) at the water treatment plant and a new San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) treated water connection and redundant pipeline. In order to replace the clearwell, a bypass system consisting of two 1.4 million-gallon tanks, pipelines, a pump station and other appurtenances will be constructed. 

These infrastructure improvement projects have been in the planning stage for a long time and are moving ahead as part of a mutual agreement between Poway and the State Division of Drinking Water.

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Project Timeline
March 2021Update to City Council on project status
September 2021Temporary Bypass Project begins
September 2022Temporary Bypass Project construction completed
Summer 2023Clearwell Replacement Project start of construction (tentative)
Spring 2024Treated Water Connection Project start of construction (tentative)

Temporary Bypass Project - Completed

The first project was constructing the temporary bypass for storing treated water. After evaluating all the options, the site that was determined to best meet the criteria was the ballfield at Lake Poway. The ballfield is immediately adjacent to the water treatment plant and has a graded pad to accommodate the temporary tanks. No other location provided the space and proximity without major modifications. 

The construction of the temporary bypass project was complex. It required working around active recreational areas, the city’s water treatment plant and critical live pipelines. Although it involved extensive rock excavation, it was completed on time, under budget, and with no interruptions in water service. 

The total of all negotiated change orders was less than 4.5 percent of the construction contract. Change orders are expenses that occur outside of the original contract. This is significant in that the average percentage for a project of this scope is typically twice that amount (closer to 10 percent). 

Work began in September 2021 and was completed in September 2022.

Anticipated impacts at Lake Poway:

  • The ballfield will be used for temporary water storage tanks and currently unavailable for use. 
  • The parking lot adjacent to the volleyball courts is currently open but will be used as a staging area for the Clearwell Replacement Project. This will reduce overall parking capacity by 38 spots.

The city will work with the project contractors to develop a construction plan that limits the impact to neighborhoods adjacent to Lake Poway, as well as park guests. Once the clearwell is replaced and the temporary tanks are removed, the ballfield will be restored back to its original condition.

temporary treated water bypass construction illustration

Clearwell Replacement Project

The clearwell replacement project consists of replacing the existing clearwell with two new reservoirs. The existing clearwell has reached the end of its useful life and is in need of replacement to maintain reliable service to Poway water customers. The overflow structure of the clearwell will also be replaced with a new structure designed with proper air gaps. Design is complete and the Clearwell Replacement project is expected to go out to bid in early 2023. Construction tentatively set to begin Summer 2023.new treated water facility illustration

SDCWA Treated Water Connection/Redundant Pipeline

The SDCWA treated water connection and redundant pipeline project provides Poway with its first treated water connection to the SDCWA's treated water aqueduct, as well as providing redundant pipelines. This project will help diversify Poway's water supply portfolio and allow for operational flexibility and plant maintenance. It will also provide a redundant pipeline to the 36" water transmission line on Lake Poway Road, which is currently the single transmission line that carries treated water to the distribution system. 

The Poway City Council will consider approval of the engineering design agreements during the April 5, 2022 City Council meeting. The City is also working with SDCWA to evaluate alternatives to reduce the cost of this project.

Tentative construction schedule: TBD. The earliest start of construction is Summer 2024.

Project Update: December 2022

The Clearwell Bypass Project is complete and operational, and the existing Clearwell was taken out-of-service and isolated from the drinking water system. The retired Clearwell will be demolished, and two new concrete reservoirs constructed in the same location. 


For More Information

For questions about the water infrastructure projects, please contact Community Outreach Coordinator Rene Carmichael at 858-668-4506 or by email.

May 10 Town Hall