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EMWD Honored As Recycled Water Agency of the Year

EMWD team honored for water reuse.

The award recognizes EMWD for its comprehensive approach toward investing in its recycled water program to ensure that resources are maximized.

EMWD treats approximately 45 million gallons of wastewater per day at regional water reclamation facilities located in Moreno Valley, Perris, San Jacinto and Temecula. That highly treated wastewater becomes recycled water.

Again in 2016, EMWD achieved 100 percent beneficial reuse of its recycled water supplies, which were used for irrigation of agriculture, parks, schools, recreational facilities, golf courses, public landscaping and industrial uses.

Recycled water accounts for 36 percent of EMWD’s water supply portfolio. That figure is among the highest in the nation.

“We are honored to be selected as the Agency of the Year,” EMWD Board President David Slawson said. “Recycled water is an incredibly valuable asset that allows us to responsibly maximize our resources and reduce dependence on imported water supplies. EMWD is committed to continually investing in our recycled water system for the benefit of all of our customers.”

EMWD has invested nearly $200 million in its recycled water program over the past 20 years. The investments have resulted in a fully integrated recycled water supply, storage and distribution system that provides a level of service commensurate with the potable water system.

In 2016, EMWD broke ground on its North Trumble Road Recycled Water Storage Pond, which increases seasonal storage capacity by 900 acre feet. The facility came online in early 2017 and is the first EMWD project funded in part through Proposition 1 – the Water Bond passed by voters in 2014.

EMWD also recently began work on shallow recovery wells adjacent to its Winchester Ponds. These 75-foot deep wells will recover the recycled water from the ground and pump it back into the storage ponds for beneficial use. The first phase is anticipated to recover several hundred acre feet of recycled water each year.

Also in 2016, EMWD completed work on its innovative Accelerated Retrofit Program. The program identified nearly two dozen sites that were using potable water for irrigation and were adjacent to existing recycled water infrastructure. EMWD took the lead on designing and permitting the retrofit and provided up-front funding, which will be repaid through a specialized rate that is lower than the potable rate but higher than the normal recycled water rate. This will save approximately 400 acre feet of potable water each year.

EMWD has also conducted significant outreach to promote recycled water, including community signage, and integrating recycled water into its award-winning education programs.

EMWD has previously been honored by the WateReuse Association with a variety of awards:

  • 2008 – Community outreach/public education program of the year
  • 2010 – California Agency of the Year
  • 2011 – California Customer of the Year (Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District)
  • 2012 – California Customer of the Year (Scott Brothers Dairy)
  • 2012 – National Project of the Year
  • 2013 – Staff Person of the Year (John Wuerth, EMWD Senior Recycled Water Program Analyst)
  • 2013 – President’s Award (Paul Jones, EMWD General Manager)

“We would like to thank WateReuse for their continued support of the work EMWD is doing to make recycled water a priority,” EMWD General Manager Paul Jones said. “Our Board has provided clear direction that we will continue to be at the forefront of the recycled water industry and our staff will continue to develop new programs to assist our customers and share our program successes with our peers for the benefit of our state’s water supplies.”