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Water recycling facility groundbreaking

September 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Western Municipal Water District will celebrate the groundbreaking on the Western Water Recycling Facility Phase II Expansion Project Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the plant site in Riverside. This expansion project is the largest, single construction project Western has undertaken in their 50-plus year history.

"This endeavor demonstrates Western's commitment to reducing our dependence on less reliable imported water supplies," said John Rossi, Western's general manager. "By increasing recycled water supplies and providing that water to our customers for nonpotable uses like irrigation, we increase the amount of potable drinking water available to our residential and business customers."

The current facility treats 1 million gallons of water a day to secondary treatment levels and provides that water to the General Archie Old Golf Course and the Riverside National Cemetery. The expansion, which was designed by Krieger & Stewart and is being constructed by SKANSKA, will increase the facility's capacity to 3 million gallons of water and will add tertiary treatment to the facility. Tertiary is a higher level of treatment that will allow Western to provide recycled water to additional customers.

"We are facing a very critical water situation in Southern California and as our imported water supplies are being threatened, we must begin to look for other sources of water," said Tom Evans, Western's Board vice president. "The Colorado River is in its eighth year of drought, California is in the second year of below-average rainfall, and low levels of snowmelt runoff from the Sierra Mountains and court rulings limit the amount of water imported from Northern California to Southern California. This expansion project is just one way Western is diversifying our water supply portfolio and drought proofing our region."

Western Water Recycling Facility was originally owned and operated by the March Air Force Base (now Reserve Base).

In the late 1990s, ownership was transferred to the March Joint Powers Authority, which was formed by Riverside County and the cities of Perris, Moreno Valley and Riverside. Soon after the JPA took ownership and began operations, the facility's ownership was transferred to Western in 2002. Once fully expanded, the recycled water will be available for use by existing customers, such as businesses in the Meridian Business Center and schools like Martin Luther King High School. The recycled water can also be used for irrigation on street medians as well as delivered to area growers.

The Western Water Recycling Facility is located to the north off of the I-215 Freeway at Oleander. After exiting Oleander and going north, turn right at Harville Avenue.

 

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