The San Juan Creek Ocean Outfall Rehabilitation Project


Overview: SOCWA is leading a project to improve the stability of 50-year-old equipment located within Doheny Beach. The project will help ensure the protection of local water quality and beach conditions from the consequences of aging infrastructure. 

Background: In accordance with state and federal law, the San Juan Creek Ocean Outfall discharges highly treated water about two miles into the ocean. A junction box that serves the outfall line is in need of repair. This facility is located on Doheny Beach and was built in the 1970s – it is sometimes visible during low tide. The junction box will be updated with modern materials to avoid potential breaks, disruptions to service or beach closures. 

Solution: A stainless-steel liner will be placed inside the existing junction structure to avoid potential breakages. New concrete will be added to the structure to increase its strength and durability. In addition, the top six feet of the junction structure will be removed, burying the structure under the sand and out of beach goers visibility a majority of the time. This solution is expected to provide many decades of service and life to this important infrastructure.

Timing: The project is strategically timed to coincide with major enhancements to Doheny State Beach infrastructure to limit disruptions to public access. Additionally, work will not interfere with beach activities during summer or holiday months.


What is the San Juan Creek Ocean Outfall?

The San Juan Creek Ocean Outfall is a pipe that safely discharges highly treated wastewater more than 2 miles off-shore in accordance with strict state and federal law.  It is operated by SOCWA and regulated by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

What is the project? 

A junction structure was constructed with the pipeline in the 1970s. Today, it is in need of repair. A break or degradation of the facility could cause a leak and harm local water quality.

How long will construction last?

Construction will last through spring 2021 and will be completed mostly at night. Beachgoers will see construction fence/wall, but will still be able to enjoy the beach and water.

How much will this cost and who’s paying for it?

The project is estimated to cost $1 million and is being funded by the members who use the outfall which include South Coast Water District, Moulton Niguel Water District, Santa Margarita Water District and the Cities of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.