Guide to the Santa Margarita Water District Records

Processed by Cyndi Shein; machine-readable finding aid created by Cyndi Shein
Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Phone: (949) 824-3947
Fax: (949) 824-2472
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Santa Margarita Water District records
Date: 1970-1982,
Date (bulk): bulk 1978-1981
Collection Number: MS-R083
Creator: Santa Margarita Water District (Calif.)
Extent: 5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Languages: The collection is in English.
Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: Established in 1964, the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), serves Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Talega, and Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County, California. The collection documents SMWD's research and services. It contains analyses and reports on wastewater disposal, water reclamation, water importation, facility regulations, and environmental impacts related to SMWD projects. It also includes correspondence, proposals, agreements, and minutes of board of directors' meetings.

Important Information for Researchers


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Santa Margarita Water District records. MS-R083. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to Special Collections and Archives from UCI Libraries Government Information Center in 2001.

Custodial History

Evidence within the collection indicates these materials were received and collected by Robert Monroe, a board director of the SMWD.

Processing History

Processed by Cyndi Shein, 2007.

Historical Background


The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), Orange County's second largest water district, is located in southern Orange County, California. It was formed in 1964, prior to the construction of the first residential neighborhood in the area, when the region was dominated by the 52,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo. As of 2007, it serves the communities of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Talega, and the remaining 23,000-acres of Rancho Mission Viejo. The SMWD is governed by a five-member board of directors that is elected by residents within the district's boundaries.

Biography/Organization History


1964 SMWD established by a group of local landowners to supply water to their ranches.
1965 First SMWD Board of Directors meeting held.
1970 Began strategic planning to supply water to future communities scheduled to be built within the district.
1974 Established more than 800 connections, including to the newly constructed communities of Mission Viejo and Coto de Caza.
1981 Constructed the O'Neill Reservoir, the district's largest water storage facility.
1985 Began construction on Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant to provide sewage treatment for the neighborhoods of Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, and part of the Trabuco Canyon Water District.
1990 Spearheaded construction of the South County Pipeline from Lake Forest to San Clemente.
1993 Completed South County Pipeline, the district's primary source of water.
2001 Expanded Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant.
2005 Began construction on two subterranean reservoirs intended to serve Ladera Ranch.


Santa Margarita Water District. "40 Years of Service and Excellence." (accessed September 13, 2007).
Rancho Mission Viejo. "A Legacy of Ranching." Rancho Mission Viejo. (accessed September 21, 2007).

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The collection comprises materials documenting Santa Margarita Water District's (SMWD) research and activities in the development and delivery of the its water service. It includes meeting booklets documenting monthly SMWD Board of Directors' meetings, including agendas, minutes, and reports from the treasurer, general manager, engineers, and legal counsel. The collection also includes analyses and reports on wastewater disposal, water reclamation, water importation, facility regulations, and environmental impacts related to SMWD projects. It also includes some related correspondence, proposals, and agreements.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series.
  • Series 1. Board of directors meeting materials, 1978-1982. 2.8 linear feet
  • Series 2. Project proposals, plans, and reports, 1970-1981. 2 linear feet
  • Series 3. Agreements and correspondence, 1977-1981. 0.2 linear feet

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Santa Margarita Water District (Calif.). -- Archives.
Water districts -- California -- Orange County -- Archives.
Water supply -- California -- Orange County -- Archives.
Sewage disposal -- California -- Orange County -- Archives.
Orange County (Calif.) -- Archives.

Genres and Formats of Materials

Environmental impact statements -- California -- Orange County --20th century.

Collection Contents


Series 1.  Board of directors meeting materials 1978-1982

Physical Description: 2.8 linear feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains booklets that were distributed to SMWD board members documenting SMWD board meetings and include agendas, minutes, reports from the treasurer, general manager, engineers, and legal counsel. Some booklets are accompanied by supplemental materials related to the meeting, including maps, correspondence, and reports related to the items discussed at that meeting.


This series is arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Processing note

Booklets have been unbound for preservation purposes.
Box : Folder 1 : 1-33

Minutes, reports, and other materials 1978-1979

Box : Folder 2 : 1-36

Minutes, reports, and other materials 1979-1980

Box : Folder 3 : 1-24

Minutes, reports, and other materials 1980-1982


Series 2.  Project proposals, plans, and reports 1970-1981, bulk dates 1978-1981

Physical Description: 2 linear feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series primarily contains project proposals, plans, and reports prepared for the improvement of water service and wastewater management within the SMWD. It also includes information on projects that impacted the SMWD.
The Santa Margarita Water District is divided into eight Improvement Districts. The geographic locations associated with projects and proposals in the collection are identified by Improvement District number, and abbreviated, "ID no." Many of the communities now served by the SMWD had not been built at the time of these records, but were part of the expansive Rancho Mission Viejo. The ID numbers on the materials in this collection roughly correspond with the following regions as they existed in the mid-1970s to early 1980s:
  • Improvement District 1 : Mission Viejo
  • Improvement District 2 : Coto de Caza
  • Improvement District 3 : Northern Rancho Mission Viejo
  • Improvement District 4 : Northwestern Rancho Mission Viejo
  • Improvement District 5 : Southern Rancho Mission Viejo
  • Improvement District 6 : Central Rancho Mission Viejo
  • Improvement District 7 : Southwestern Rancho Mission Viejo
Improvement District 8, located at the northern tip of the SMWD, is not defined in these materials.


Projects that affected several regions are listed first, followed by materials pertaining to specific regions.

Multiple regions

Box : Folder 3 : 25-27

Alicia Parkway water transmission main extension : proposal and report 1978-1981

Box : Folder 3 : 28-31

Aliso Water Management Agency: Regional Wastewater Treatment System, Draft Environmental Impact Statement 1975

Box : Folder 3 : 32

Diemer Intertie - Santiago Aqueduct System, SMWD connections to 1978

Box : Folder 3 : 33-34

Diemer Project: construction reports 1979-1980

Box : Folder 4 : 1

Galivan Wastewater Reclamation Plant: design report 1978

Box : Folder 4 : 2

Improvement Districts 1A-WS, 3, 4 and 5: proposed plan of works undated

Box : Folder 4 : 3

Nondomestic water facilities: proposed regulations 1979

Box : Folder 4 : 4

Reallocations of water and sewer bond issues: proposal 1979

Box : Folder 4 : 5

Reclaimed water system: standard specifications 1978

Box : Folder 4 : 6

Santiago Aqueduct Commission Board of Commissioners agenda 1981


Upper Oso Reservoir

Box : Folder 4 : 7

Alternatives to Upper Oso Reservoir for reclaimed water storage: report 1978

Box : Folder 4 : 8

Seasonal domestic water storage: feasibility study undated

Box : Folder 4 : 9-11

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: South East Regional Reclamation Authority (SERRA) Ocean Outfall, Draft Environmental Impact Statement undated

Box : Folder 4 : 12

Water conservation and reuse: program overview 1977

Box : Folder 4 : 13

Water importation: preliminary master plan 1977

Box : Folder 4 : 14

Water Quality Task Group report of the groundwater subgroup 1977

Box : Folder 4 : 15-20

Water reclamation facilities: planning study and reports 1980-1981

Box : Folder 4 : 21

Zone D Pumping Station: design report 1981


Coto de Caza (Improvement District 2)

Box : Folder 4 : 22-23

North Entry Reservoir: draft environmental impact report 1978

Box : Folder 4 : 24

Portola Reservoir: report undated

Box : Folder 4 : 25

Sewage treatment alternatives: report undated

Box : Folder 4 : 26

Wastewater collection and disposal facilities: revised plan of works 1979

Box : Folder 4 : 27-28

Wastewater reclamation project: reports on waste discharge 1980-1981

Box : Folder 4 : 29

Water reclamation plant: design report 1979

Box : Folder 4 : 30

Water supply and transmission systems: analysis 1981

Box : Folder 4 : 31

Water supply and wastewater disposal: preliminary study 1977

Box : Folder 4 : 32

Water system facilities: revised plan of works 1978

Box : Folder 4 : 33

Zone IV reservoir and Zone V booster pump station: proposal 1981

Box : Folder 4 : 34

Miscellaneous undated


Mission Viejo (Improvement District 1)

Box : Folder 4 : 35

La Paz Booster Pump Station: report 1981

Box : Folder 4 : 36-39

Lakeside Pump Station: plans and studies 1979-1981

Box : Folder 5 : 1

Nondomestic water: conversion analyses 1981

Box : Folder 5 : 2-4

Oso Creek Water Reclamation Plant: studies and proposals on expansion and start-up 1980-1981

Box : Folder 5 : 5

Oso Viejo Lake construction: proposal and study 1970

Box : Folder 5 : 6-7

Oversized capacity ownership: report 1981

Box : Folder 5 : 8-16

Plan of works and revisions 1977-1980

Box : Folder 5 : 17-18

Reclaimed water transmission system: analysis 1978

Box : Folder 5 : 19-21

Water and sewer bond projects and reallocations: proposals 1978-1981

Box : Folder 5 : 22

Water, sewer, and reclaimed water facilities: preliminary designs 1979


Rancho Mission Viejo (Improvement Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Box : Folder 5 : 23

Alternative water supply systems for the TRW Capistrano Test Site 1980

Box : Folder 5 : 24-28

Plan of works 1978

Box : Folder 5 : 29

Water supply and wastewater disposal for the proposed and future Rancho Mission Viejo development areas: report undated


Series 3.  Agreements and correspondence 1977-1981

Physical Description: 0.2 linear feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains a multi-district agreement regarding the Diemer Filtration Plant/ Santiago Aqueduct Intertie in Orange County, SMWD acquisition agreements, an amendment to the SMWD Trabuco Well agreement, and SMWD reimbursement agreements, including a sample reimbursement agreement that provides guidelines for future agreements. It also includes some correspondence.


Arranged alphabetically by type of material.


Box : Folder 5 : 30

Acquisition agreements 1977

Box : Folder 5 : 31-32

Agreement for construction, operation and maintenance of Diemer Filtration Plant/Santiago Aqueduct Intertie 1977?

Box : Folder 5 : 33

Reimbursement agreements 1980-1981

Box : Folder 5 : 34

Trabuco Well agreement amendment 1980

Box : Folder 5 : 35

Correspondence 1978-1980