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By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

A water dam and reservoir under construction on land acquired from Rancho Mission Viejo has not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Deputy General Manager Don Bunts.

Watershed partner South Coast Water District serves Dana Point, South Laguna and areas of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.

Recent rainfall, however, has affected the Trampas Canyon Dam and Reservoir project, which intends to store recycled water. Work on the project restarted on Monday, April 27, after being delayed for a few weeks, Bunts said.

The Trampas Canyon Reservoir and Dam is still going through. Photo: Collin Breaux

The project is expected to wrap up in September. No one involved is believed to have fallen ill, and site workers already practice a degree of physical separation, Bunts said.

“Knock on wood, we’re in pretty good shape now,” Bunts said.

The dam and reservoir are south of Ortega Highway, and the reservoir is intended to store water on a seasonal basis. The project is intended to increase the amount of recycled water the water district uses.

“It’s good environmentally,” Bunts aid. “It’s good for the district, too.”

Construction began in January 2018. Other construction projects with SMWD have also not been impacted by the pandemic.

The San Juan Capistrano City Council approved a water and utility annexation agreement with SMWD in January, meaning those systems will be transferred to SMWD.  The annexation agreement still needs to be approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

Bunts said the annexation is a good opportunity that both sides are interested in getting approved.

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