Fontana Water Company, the City of Fontana and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) gathered at the Oak Park Elementary School in Fontana with local residents and civic leaders to celebrate the beginning of recycled water deliveries in the area. While the new system is just beginning to serve the area, when completed, it will be able to deliver up to 2,000 acre feet of water per year (about 326,000 gallons).
High-quality recycled water is provided by IEUA’s water treatment plant, and although it can’t be used for drinking or other human consumption, for every gallon of recycled water that is used to irrigate the park, a gallon of fresh water will be available to homes or business. IEUA began providing recycled water in the 1970s as a low-cost alternative to potable water for large irrigation customers. In the past 10 years, IEUA has emphasized the need to expand and utilize recycled water more efficiently to improve the sustainability of the region’s water supply.
“This is a big deal for a booming city like Fontana, because without water, the whole city stops growing,” said Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren. “We have all worked hard to makes this project happen, and now we need to get more people connected to these purple pipes.”
“This is the same as finding a new source of water,” said Michael Whitehead, Chairman and CEO of San Gabriel Valley Water Company, which owns the Fontana Water Company. “Investing in recycled water is one of the most important steps we can take to stretch our water supplies and make sure people can get the water they need well into the future. We made this project one of our top priorities, and I’m very happy to see it come to fruition here.”
The project is a joint venture between Fontana Water Company, the city of Fontana, and IEUA. The City owns the water rights to the recycled water. IEUA treats the water and sends it to Fontana Water Company, which then moves it through its new recycled water distribution system to end users. The recycled water distribution system includes 52,753 feet of new purple pipe. Eventually, the first phase will serve eight city parks as they become permitted by the State Water Resources Control Board.
“This important project will benefit the greater Fontana community in a number of ways,” said State Senator Connie M. Leyva. “The city will look even more beautiful and use less water, while taking pressure off the state water system by reducing the need for imported water.”
“This is such an important step for the future of our community,” said Assembly Member Cheryl Brown. “This project and future expansions will make sure we continue to grow and improve the quality of life here, no matter how much drought Mother Nature throws at us.”