Stanly Ranch Vineyard south of the city of Napa is turning on the recycled water tap as the first fruits of a major recycled water project.
Napa Sanitation District is providing former sewer water that has been treated and disinfected for reuse. Stanly Ranch has become the first customer along a 9-mile pipeline that will take the water through the rolling, vineyard-planted hills of the Carneros region.
“It’s a major milestone,” Napa Sanitation District General Manager Tim Healy said.
Plus, it’s the latest chapter in district efforts to expand the use of recycled water that can be used for irrigation, but not for drinking.
The bulk of the $20 million Carneros pipeline project is still under construction and won’t be completed until early next year. The main line is in, but work remains to be done on the lateral connections, meters and final road paving.
But the easternmost section of line near the Napa River at Stanly Ranch was inspected and tested last week and is ready to go.
Stanly Ranch will no longer use city of Napa water to irrigate the 240-acre property near the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 121 leading to Sonoma. That should result in saving 19 million gallons annually that the city can use for drinking water.
“We are thrilled to see this project comes together,” said Rich Shaefers on behalf of Stanly Ranch Vineyard in a news release. “It shows what can happen when we can coordinate the strengths of both public and private entities.”
Step one came in 2013, when workers drilled a tunnel for a pipe under the Napa River that separates Stanly Ranch from the Napa Sanitation District and its recycled water supply. Stanly Ranch and the district shared the $1.7 million cost.
Stanly Ranch, besides having vineyards, is the site of the planned VieVage resort.
That pipe allowed the Los Carneros Water District and Napa Sanitation District to push ahead with the rest of the Carneros pipeline. More than 100 Carneros customers agreed to pay an annual assessment to help cover the cost.
Unlike Stanly Ranch, these properties don’t use city water for irrigation. Rather, they rely on wells and creeks that have varying degrees of reliability.
The Carneros pipeline will initially deliver 150 million gallons of water during the high-demand summer months. It will also deliver up to 130 million gallons during the winter that vineyard owners can store in reservoirs for the summer, a Napa Sanitation District news release said.
Napa Sanitation District treats sewage from the city of Napa, the Silverado Resort and the Napa County Airport areas. It provides recycled water for irrigation to parts of the south county. Besides the Carneros project, it is building the Milliken-Sarco-Tulocay recycled water line in the Coombsville area east of Napa.