Tower at La Jolla Natural Park is ‘security communications pole’

Addressing the mysterious pole at an entrance of La Jolla Natural Park that often draws questions from the La Jolla Parks and Beaches community advisory group, Hossein Azar, a Senior Civil Engineer for the City of San Diego Public Works Department, provided the following explanation.

“Following the events of Sept. 11, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that water utilities nationwide conduct vulnerability assessments of their critical infrastructure. The City of San Diego began implementing mandated security upgrades identified in the initial vulnerability assessments in 2003 and since then has awarded a number of contracts with the most recent contract, RFP 1, nearing completion within the next 90 days.

“RFP 1 includes the installation of a new wireless communication system, which relays data to the Public Utilities central monitoring facility. The security communications pole recently installed near the site of the new the La Jolla View Reservoir combines security data feeds from several nearby water facilities and relays that data via mountain top to the Public Utilities central monitoring facility. This security communications pole is a critical component in the system overall.

“The EPA additionally mandated that security upgrades at water facilities fall under the Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program and that work be done in strictest confidence. In an effort to keep the details of RFP 1 confidential, impacted community members were only notified via a door hanger and on a case by the case basis.”