CMSD Board Unanimously Approves Moving Forward on Critical Sewer Improvement Project

March 30, 2023
CONTACT: Noelani Middenway, District Clerk & Public Information Officer                         
TELEPHONE: (949) 645-8400 ext. 227


(Costa Mesa – CA) The Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) Board of Directors unanimously approved executing a contract at the March 27th Board meeting with San Diego-based engineering/design firm Kleinfelder, Inc., for design services on CMSD’s largest capital improvement project in more than 65 years.

At the conclusion of a competitive proposal process involving qualified firms, the Board approved staff’s recommendation to award a  $753,000 contract to Klienfelder, which will now begin the design of a new 3,600 feet, 18-inch Elden Force Main Pipe that will serve in an emergency should the primary pipeline fail due to seismic activity or other natural or manmade causes.

A portion of the primary pipeline is located inside the Mesa Drive bridge that passes over State Route 55.  “It would be catastrophic if the Elden Force main pipe fails,” said CMSD Board President Mike Scheafer.  “The pipeline transports 3,750 gallons per minute of wastewater, making it the largest flowing pipeline in the District.” When the project is complete, CMSD will be able to transfer flow to the emergency pipe should the primary pipe be damaged.  The project is expected to take five years to complete and in recognition of this timeline, last December the Board approved the purchase of three 12-inch emergency lay-flat hose reel systems that will enable the District to bypass wastewater should the primary pipeline fail before construction work is completed. The cost for the three-wheel system is $700,000.

“We are committed to our mission of protecting public health and the environment for current and future generations,” said President Scheafer. The estimated construction cost of the Elden project is $8-10 million, a significant portion of which is attributed to the pipeline’s current alignment underneath the Newport (55) Freeway. According to President Scheafer, the project will incur additional costs related to soil work, hydraulic analysis, contract administration, and coordination with multiple agencies, including the City of Costa Mesa, Caltrans, and the Orange County Fairgrounds, bringing the total project cost to $992,300. CMSD will be seeking state and federal funding to help offset construction costs, said District General Manager Scott Carroll.

More information about the Elden Force Main Redundancy Project can be found on CMSD’s website or by contacting CMSD’s Engineering Department at 949-645-8400, extension 241 or at


About CMSD: Formed in 1944, CMSD is an independent special district that provides solid waste and wastewater collection services to a population of approximately 116,700 in Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and unincorporated Orange County. For more information and the latest CMSD news, visit and follow CMSD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To get in touch with CMSD staff, email or call (949) 645- 8400.