CAMP’S WATER STORAGE SITUATION IS SUCH A CHALLENGE…
How much of a challenge is it? (A $50,000 challenge to be exact)
Last year, during the extended drought, de Benneville Pines spent thousands of dollars trucking in water from another source, just so campers could enjoy our beautiful swimming pool. It was an expensive proposition trucking in thousands of gallons of water each summer, but our well ran so slowly that we could barely keep up with the needs of the campers, let alone the needs of an 85,000 gallon swimming pool. In fact, we sent campers offsite to swim for six weeks.
During the Lake Fire, summer 2015, the USFS fire fighters needed to access our water tank and could not. Our enclosed tank system did not allow for access. This meant that water had to be pumped back up the mountainside from a hydrant located near the maintenance shop.
And due to the reduced water flow from our well, we could only supply the fire fighters with 30,000 gallons of water in total. After that, all water was trucked in from Jenks Lake or dropped from the sky.
Perhaps if we had had our new water tank installed before the fire, a flame just 20 feet from our water tank could have been under control before it went wild and ravished the wilderness area behind the camp. Before the Lake Fire was brought under control, it burned over 30,000 pristine wilderness acres, destroying thousands upon thousands of trees and animal habitats.
You may recall that our Water Works! Campaign addressed the need for new waterlines throughout camp and a newly paved camp road. Additionally, the campaign raised $100,000 towards a new water tank. Six years ago, that did seem like enough money to complete the job. But we encountered delay after delay with the USFS, and time slipped away from us. Now, with USFS approval in hand, we are gearing up to install our new 65,000 gallon water tank and fire hydrant. Should there ever be a need to fight another fire and access our tank, we want to be ready.
You can imagine our surprise that after engineering our site to meet earthquake standards, meeting County requirements for erosion control, and accounting for the increased cost of steel and labor, our little $100,000 water tank project is now a $220,000 project. Yikes! We are in shock, but we are flying into gear to raise the additional funds. We have a can-do attitude, and we have four months to raise the funds. Our deadline is urgent as we have six months left on the USFS permit. After that, all studies will have to be updated and resubmitted–yes, costing more money!
THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU CAN HELP!
Right now we have a $50,000 challenge from a longtime camper from the San Dieguito Fellowship coming to the rescue. For every dollar we collect over the summer, it will be matched dollar for dollar!
We are on our way….and with your help, we will get there. Our thanks go out to the first group of people to take up the cause. The UU Men’s Fellowship of San Diego has already raised $5,000 toward the tank project. Thank you!
Now is the time to secure camp’s water storage capacity for years to come. Our old tank has served us well, but after 55 years, it is ready for some help. A new tank in line with the old tank will give the camp much needed water storage capacity in drought years, and will also help us to fight a fire. The tank will be built to modern earthquake codes and will more than double our water storage capacity.
Every penny will be matched.