After three years of planning, East Valley Water District broke ground on its Sterling Natural Resource Center and is ready to begin construction on the $150 million waste water recycling plant at Del Rosa Drive and Fifth Street, which will recharge the Bunker Hill Basin with up to 10 million gallons of water a day.

Before a large crowd of supportive residents, water professionals and elected officials East Valley Water District General Manager John Mura outlined the district’s design meant to make the 14-acre facility a community resource as well as a water resource.

Construction, by Balfour Beatty, is scheduled to begin Dec. 1 and take 30 to 33 months.

As laid out in a model on display for guests, the state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor treatment plant will filter and treat wastewater on the lot east of Del Rosa while a community center and garden will support a variety of community programs west of Del Rosa.

The plant will use the latest membrane bioreactor technology from Fibracast Ltd. and will be quiet and odorless. According to Fibracast CEO Diana Mourato Benedek, this latest filtration membrane technology helped reduce the footprint of the treatment plant by half and is more cost effective than earlier designs.

The plant was designed by Ruhnau Clarke Architects with consultation from Arcadis.

The plant will open with a capacity for 8 million gallons a day and be ready for expansion to 10 million gallons a day, said Mura.

To fund the project East Valley was awarded $6.7 million in state grant funds and $119 million in low-interest loans from the California’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Another portion of the project, about 40 percent when complete, will be funded by development fees from approximately 5,000 units of new development scheduled for the district’s service area.

Also the $8 million per year that district customers currently pay to San Bernardino Municipal Water Department for wastewater treatment will be changed to charges used to operate East Valley’s new plant.

“Our aquifers are thirsty the Bunker Hill Basin is at historic lows and yet every single day we let 6 million gallons of water leave this region to go to another place where they use it, but the Sterling Natural Resource Center is going to stop that,” East Valley Water District Board President Chris Carrillo said of the need for water conservation. “It’s going to capture that resource. It’s going to keep it here locally for all of us to use here in our community.”

Mura was most proud of the center’s focus to be a community resource. It will feature a park with water feature and demonstration garden, a picnic area, a museum, outdoor theater and educational space.

The educational space will include classrooms and labs to be used in developing a water technologies career pathway in partnership with neighboring Indian Springs High School.

“We want to provide some additional value to our ratepayers through recreational opportunities and providing educational opportunities for students and adult learners and, most importantly, have a community center where people can gather and meet and really enjoy a peaceful setting,” Mura said. “So we can hopefully inspire the next generation of our local youth to be involved in engineering, sciences and other fields. Our hope is to create a program so high school students can graduate with the certifications needed so they can go right into the industry with a job before they graduate.”

“We’re going to have a state-of-the-art, world-class community center to be a resource for our community,” Carrillo said of the facility. “It will be a place to bring your kids for a barbecue, a place to rent space for a birthday or quinceañera. It will be a place where we educate our youth, a place to inspire our future water leaders.”

(10) comments

Patriot

I agree the East Valley Water District ratepayers need "recycled water we can drink" but the truth is no EVWD ratepayer will ever get to drink any recycled water from the SNRC as we were originally promised? Instead: 1) all of the recycled water from the SNRC will go right back into the ground at City Creek, 2) EVWD's Board of Directors refuse to answer the question: "How much of the recycled water from the SNRC will reach the water table i.e. Bunker Hill Basin?" but refuse to answer the question...so much for transparency! 3) true we need to "recharge" Bunker Hill Basin but not even the 3 private consultant's who wrote the June 2017 Draft Engineering Report for the SNRC will go on record to tell us how much recycled water will reach the water table? 4) the 3 private consultants wrote in Section 6.1 City Creek of the 2017 Draft Report "the recycled water has a POSSIBILITY of reaching the water table," 5) We can put a man on the Moon but no one is willing to go on the record for how much recycled water will reach the water table? 6) BUT the EVWD rate payer is on the hook to repay the $140M to build the SNRC???? 7) EVWD refuses to post any "amortization schedule" on their website to inform the EVWD ratepayer what the financial liability and terms are to repay the $140M? 8) We hear all of this state of the art...to cleanup poo poo water and pour it back into the ground? 9) the EVWD ratepayers need to wake up and realize they are on the hook to repay $140M, 10 EVWD is now telling us the SNRC facilities are a resource for us? They have not told anyone how much it will cost to rent out a room at "our new resource" even though we will be repaying $140M? Is the use of the new resource free???

Patriot

EVWD already rents out to us another RESOURCE the facilities at the EVWD Corporate Office....and we must pay to rent the space! 1) Where is the annual "utilization" for that resource disclosing how many days out of 365 per year were rented out? How much revenue was generated for the use of the resource? What is the utilization as a percentage for the EVWD Corporate Office? 2) Based on this utilization can a new "resource" facility be justified i.e. expanded SNRC facilities beyond what is already provided at the EVWD Corporate Office? 3) In other words if EVWD has a 99% utilization of the EVWD Corporate Office facilities then sure a justification can be made, 4) On the other hand, if the utilization of the EVWD Corporate Office is less than 20% then how can anyone justify building MORE "resources" i.e. expanded facilities at the SNRC if no demand exists? EVWD show me the "utilization info" for the existing EVWD Corporate Offices for years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018? A Is the utilization going upwards or downwards?

Patriot

OK the SNRC will be a new resource for family gatherings and partys. What happened to renting similar facilities at the EVWD Corporate Offices? Do we simply write-off those facilities at the EVWD Corporate Office? How many millions of dollars did the EVWD ratepayer pay for that facility?

Patriot

I do not understand why EVWD continues to use the outdated number of projected new development numbers of 5,000 housing units and the development fees as a basis for covering part of the costs to build the SNRC? 1)EVWD used the same 5,000 units to defray the costs die the new EVWD Corporate Offices during year 2014, 2) EVWD knows that 3,602 of those units are based on the now court nullified Harmony Project, 3) On August 8, 2018 the City of Highland REPLEALED Ordinances 409 and 410 dealing with Harmony because BACKGROUND: In 2016, the City Council approved and adopted various actions, and certified an Environmental Impact Report ("EIR"), to entitle the Harmony development project. The project approvals were challenged in court, and two ordinances were subject to a successful referendum petition. Recently, the court in the two related challenges to the adequacy of the EIR ruled that portions of the EIR did not comply with CEQA and must be revised. This order will result in all project actions being invalidated, including the ordinances that were subject to the referendum. Since ordinances must be repealed as a result of the court order, the referendum will be moot before the voters go to the polls. Staff and the City Attorney recommend that the City Council adopt the referenced resolutions and ordinance, to repeal all project entitlements, de -certify the EIR and withdraw the referendum.

Patriot

The 1,657 acres that were illegally transferred f5rom San Bernardino County to Orange County memorialized in a March 14, 2000 Orange County Board of Supervisor's Board Meeting Minutes show that: 1) no monies were paid by Orange County to San Bernardino County, 2) The 1,657 acres were part of the December 1989 Local Cooperation Agreement (LCA) under US Army Corps of Engineer Management by the US Congress, 3) No provision existed in the 29-page LCA to transfer ANY property out of the LCA, 4) LAFCO 2865 was in progress from January 2000 and finalized in September 2000 to transfer 3220 acres from San Bernardino County to the City of Highland, 5) why was 1657 acres transferred in the middle of the LAFCO 2865 proceedings without USACE approvals, 6) Now the City is required to "reversion to acreage" for the 1657 acres pursuant to California Government Code laws and February 2018 caselaw in "Save Lafayette," and 7) the zoning will revert back to zoning for year 2000 and the USACE can take back the property from Orange County. End of story!

Patriot

Everyone needs to read: "Response to recent Letters to the Editor
• By John Mura EVWD General Manager and CEO
• Jul 9, 2015
and his 3rd paragraph that states the following....see next comment below:

Patriot

"There are over 6,000 units of development within the District’s service area that have been identified in the planning documents for the cities of Highland and San Bernardino. The availability of these documents has allowed for us to include them in our preparation of the Integrated Regional Urban Water Management Plan, which looks at the regional water supply capacity. As a result, East Valley Water District has an obligation to serve new development even in times of drought, so long as they meet conditions of approval. The District requires that all new development is responsible for 100 percent of the cost that the increased demand has on the system, including but not limited to pipelines, reservoirs, and increased treatment needs.
The District is currently considering the construction of a recycled water facility that would produce up to 10 million gallons a day for groundwater recharge. New development would be obligated to pay for a portion of the initial facility costs, in addition to any costs required for expansions to meet their needs." Based on this information, how much money have the developers for the 6,000 new housing units paid towards the $140M?????? Or was the 2015 by Mr. Mura just more...….?

Patriot

If the $140M SNRC turns out to be a "doonboogle" because only a very little of the "recycled water" actually reaches the water table then let's have the EVWD Board members and the General Manager pay the $140M out of their own pocket?

Patriot

Definition of boondoggle is "work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value."

Patriot

Spending $140M to build the SNRC, not knowing how much of the poo poo water that is recycled and DUMPED back into the ground at City Creek will reach the water table i.e. Bunker Hill Basin, and then spending $14M a year to operate the SNRC could end up being a "BOONDOGGLE!" What does the local ratepayer who must repay the $140M do then?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.