Project Updates

Groundwater Wellhead Treatment System Project

Since the discovery of the contaminant perchlorate in the Rialto-Colton groundwater basin in 2000, the public has become increasingly concerned of its effects on the community. In April 2002, the State of California Department of Public Health Services issued a Conditional Acceptance of “biological treatment as a means of removing perchlorate from source waters for distribution as a part of the public water supply.” West Valley Water District has teamed up with the City of Rialto to construct a “bioremediation” wellhead treatment system that would help stabilize water supplies in the Rialto-Colton groundwater basin.

What is bioremediation?

Bioremediation allows natural processes to clean up harmful chemicals in the water. Microscopic organisms, which are already present in the groundwater, consume certain harmful chemicals such as perchlorate. After allowing this natural process to occur, the water is sent through a traditional water treatment process before it enters the drinking water system. Bioremediation does not use harmful chemicals.

Why are we using bioremediation?

Contaminants, like perchlorate, exist in the water that is underground. We have been using an effective treatment to clean the water, but it is expensive. When the level of contaminants increases, the current method of treatment becomes even more expensive. Bioremediation, on the other hand, is proven safe, does not use harmful chemicals, and costs less.

How safe is this type of water treatment?

It has been successfully tested for safety and subsequently used at many locations in the western U.S. for years. After the water passes through the bioremediation treatment system, it then goes through a traditional water treatment system. Water quality testing occurs throughout the entire process.

Where is the bioremediation plant located?

The plant has been constructed and is operated by West Valley Water District at our site at the corner of Base Line Road and Cactus Avenue in Rialto.

Who will pay for the construction of the plant?

To date, WVWD has been awarded a total of $16.7 million collectively contributed by the State of California Department of Public Health Services ($10 million, Proposition 84), Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board ($2.8 million, CAA Account), the Department of Defense ($2.9 million, ESTCP) and the Department of Water Resources ($1 million, Proposition 84) via Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA).

S2WI2FT Basin Project:

The West Valley Water District Storm and Surface Water Infiltration and Injection Filtration Treatment (S2WI2FT) Basin Project is in the preliminary research and development stage. Once constructed, the S2WI2FT basin will facilitate the capture and infiltration of storm water runoff for treatment and discharge to groundwater basins by injection wells, while reducing damage caused by flooded streets and property during rain events.  During dry periods, the S2WI2FT basins can be used to store and inject purchased state water, thereby providing groundwater replenishment for the region year-round. The S2WI2FT basin project is expected to expedite the replenishment of critical groundwater stores by several years, ensuring continued water supply reliability for District businesses and residents, and bolstering the District’s ability to support continued economic growth and expansion. Stay tuned for project updates!