Environmental Protection

Moreno Valley Retrofits to Lower Energy Needs Onsite

On August 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined the Eastern Municipal Water District for the groundbreaking of a $46.3 million wastewater treatment energy efficiency project – funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) -- benefiting thousands of Moreno Valley, Calif., residents for years to come.

Funding for the Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility Preliminary Treatment and Acid Phase Anaerobic Digestion Project is from the California’s Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF), which was augmented with an additional $280 million by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Upgrades funded by these loans will enable the Eastern Municipal Water District to produce 40 percent of the Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility’s energy needs onsite. This substantially reduces energy production and associated greenhouse gas emissions that would have been generated at offsite facilities and helps to control ratepayer energy costs. Upgrades will also reduce sludge production, thus lowering truck emissions resulting from sludge hauling. By increasing treatment capacity, and improving treatment processes, the district will continue to efficiently recycle treated wastewater for non-potable uses, thus conserving scarce water supplies.

An additional CWSRF loan containing ARRA funds was recently provided to the Eastern Municipal Water District to separately upgrade the Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility. Construction began in May, 2009 on a $38-million project to increase treatment plant capacity and improve process operations.

“Clean water is a precious commodity, especially in arid southern California,” said John Kemmerer, associate director, EPA Region 9 Water Division. “We applaud the Eastern Municipal Water District for their spirit of innovation and environmental responsibility in taking advantage of these funding opportunities to conserve energy and scarce water supplies.”

"The Eastern Municipal Water District is pleased to have been selected by the EPA and State Water Resources Control Board to receive funding for this model innovative green project," says EMWD Board President Ron Sullivan. "The project will enable our Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility to become more self-reliant in energy generation and more cost and energy-efficient in its treatment of wastewater. Additionally, EMWD customers will realize approximately $4 million savings in interest payments through this zero to low-interest loan."

The Eastern Municipal Water District provides domestic and agricultural water, wastewater collection and treatment service, and recycled water in a 555-square-mile service area with a population of about 687,000 in western Riverside County.

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