Dozens of community leaders from throughout Southwest Riverside County gathered on Tuesday, May 27, to help Eastern Municipal Water District celebrate the dedication of the recent expansion of its Temecula Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility.
The facility collects wastewater from Temecula, Murrieta and surrounding communities and is one of four Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facilities operated by EMWD.
The expansion brings capacity at the site to 18 million gallons per day. The expansion is critical, as EMWD is also expanding its wastewater infrastructure throughout the Temecula region.
Ten miles of sewer line are being installed in the Wine Country region east of Temecula that will improve groundwater quality in the region and also allow for the future growth of the Wine Country region.
Construction will begin later this year on a new sewer line in Old Town Temecula to help accommodate future demands and allow the region to add more restaurants and businesses in the coming years.
“The Temecula region continues to expand, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our infrastructure is in place to meet those anticipated additional customer demands,” said Joseph Kuebler, EMWD’s Director who represents Division 2, which includes Temecula and portions of Murrieta. “This expansion at our reclamation facility will allow us handle those increased demands in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner.”
The expansion includes two new digesters that have an ultimate capacity of 23 million gallons per day. A new secondary clarifier basin was installed that gives the facility the redundancy and reliability requirements needed to be rated at 18 million gallons per day.
Three new recycled water storage ponds totaling 28 million gallons were built on site. Upgrades were also done to the headworks basin, aeration basins, the boiler facility and standby generator.
The project was completed in three years at a cost of $22 million. There were no reportable injuries during the construction period.
The reclamation facility operates 24 hours a day and converts wastewater into a high-quality tertiary-treated recycled water supply that is used throughout the region for irrigating agriculture, parks, landscaping, schools and for industrial purposes.
A portion of the recycled water produced at the Temecula facility is sold to Rancho California Water District and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.
EMWD is a national leader in its recycled water efforts and this year anticipates reaching 100 percent beneficial reuse. Recycled water accounts for 25 percent of EMWD’s total water supply portfolio.
“We are very proud of these upgrades,” Kuebler said. “A sustainable water and wastewater system is vital to the economic sustainability of a community, and these upgrades help ensure that we are prepared to meet the needs of our community for years to come.”