Previously Asked Questions
Previous Ask EMWD! Questions and Answers that have been featured in our monthly eConnect.
Q: Is the funding for redoing landscaping to be more water efficient available?
EMWD customers are eligible to receive funding to help offset the costs of removing grass from their front or rear lawns and replacing it with drought-tolerant landscaping. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is currently offering $2 per square foot and EMWD customers are eligible for an additional $1 per square foot.
Customers may visit EMWD’s Landscapes for Living to view available rebate programs, sample landscape plans, and find a licensed contractor that has completed a specialized training program through EMWD.
Q: Is my sewer charge based on water usage?
A: EMWD sewer service charges are based on the number of people living in the household to be more representative of the amount of water contributed to the sewer system.
Block sewer rates are designed to be more fair and equitable to customers and are revenue-neutral to EMWD.
Customers in smaller households (1-2 people) pay 60-percent of the standard rate. Households with 3-4 people pay the standard rate; those with 5-6 people pay 125-percent of the standard rate; and households with 7 or more residents pay 170-percent of the standard rate.
Customers may learn more about their wastewater charges by visiting EMWD’s website
Q: Is Recycled Water being used to replenish EMWD’s groundwater wells?
A: While EMWD does not currently use recycled water to replenish its local groundwater basins, it is currently designing an advanced water purification facility to be able to implement this technology soon. Purified Water Replenishment would start with recycled water and purify it using a multi-stage process of microfiltration and reverse osmosis.
The purified water could then be blended with additional treated water before being pumped into replenishment basins, where it would go through a natural purification process, which takes at least six months to filter through the ground. The water pumped would then go through one final cleaning step before it would be sent to homes and businesses.
The first phase of this proposed program would provide enough groundwater replenishment to serve up to 10,000 homes annually.
To learn more about EMWD’s proposed program, please visit our Groundwater Reliability Plus page on our website.
Q: What has EMWD done to ensure that water to our taps will continue to flow in the event of a failure of the grid?
A: EMWD is prepared to meet the needs of our customers in the event of both planned and unplanned outages of the power grid, including a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
In the event of a PSPS or other emergency within the service area, EMWD has backup generators installed at critical locations and additional units available to power the essential equipment needed to continue delivering high quality water service and reliable wastewater service to customers as well as fire response personnel if needed.
For more information, please click here.
Q: Does EMWD offer assistance programs to help with my bill?
A: Yes. EMWD offers payment assistance programs for customers who may be facing financial difficulties with paying their water bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Governor’s Executive Order currently prohibits shutoffs for non-payment, once that order is lifted, many customers with significant balances due may be at risk of shutoff. To help customers manage outstanding balances, EMWD offers a range of programs to assist customers in becoming current on their bills including:
- Get $100 Credit with EMWD’s Help2Others Program: EMWD has partnered with the United Way of the Inland Valleys to provide financial assistance to qualified, low-income customers. Funding for the program is limited and eligibility information may be found at www.emwd.org/help2others.
- Payment Extensions: Customers may schedule a payment extension using EMWD’s My Account portal at myaccount.emwd.org.
- Payment Arrangements: Short- and long-term payment arrangements may be made to pay off a past-due balance.
- Level Payment Program: This program allows qualified customers to pay EMWD bills in equal monthly payments, based on historical usage.
- EMWD’s Water Budget Based Rate Structure: EMWD’s rate structure is designed to provide the lowest rates to customers who remain within their water budget.
Additional resources through the County of Riverside and local cities may be available. Please click here for more information.
Q: What rebates are available for converting to California-friendly landscaping?
A: EMWD has partnered with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) to offer customers a variety of programs and rebates to maximize their water use efficiency. Some of the available rebates to help residents convert to California-friendly landscaping include a turf replacement program and rebates on: rotating sprinkler nozzles, rain barrels and cisterns, weather-based irrigation controller, soil moisture sensor system, and so much more. To learn more about the rebates offered through the partnership between MWD and EMWD, visit socalwatersmart.com. EMWD also offers residential customers tools such as FREE deep drip watering stakes, which are designed to help maintain beautiful trees by watering them directly at the root zone. To learn how to get yours, click here.
Q: Tap water – is it safe to drink?
A: Yes! EMWD takes pride in its water quality and reliability, maintaining investments in state-of-the-art treatment facilities and utilizing modern testing practices to ensure your water is safe to drink. It is a commitment that is at the forefront of our mission as an organization. Our team completes nearly 50,000 tests a year, ensuring that all the water EMWD provides to the community meets or exceeds state and federal regulations. In addition to our state-certified lab, EMWD has two water filtration plants that treat imported water using an advanced method called ultrafiltration. EMWD also has two desalination plants that treat local, salty water using reverse osmosis technology. Our team works 24/7/365 to ensure our infrastructure is in top shape so that you always have a water supply that you can depend on when you turn on the tap. EMWD’s water quality is outlined every year in a Consumer Confidence Report; you can find that by clicking here. You can learn more about your tap water by watching the video below!
Q: What is the source of the salty water used at the Menifee Desalination Plant?
A: EMWD’s Desalination Complex treats local brackish (salty) groundwater. This local water supply, found below the Perris and Menifee areas, is salty due to natural soil conditions and historical agricultural use. That water is then pumped out of the ground using 12 different wells and a network of pipelines where it is sent to the Desalination Complex for treatment. The Desalination Complex uses reverse osmosis to remove the salt from the water before sending it out to the community. Without the Desalination Complex, EMWD would not be able to treat what is otherwise an undrinkable local water supply. You can learn more about EMWD’s Desalination Program by watching the video below!