El Toro Water District is Recipient of the WateReuse Recycled Water Agency of the Year Award


Contact: Sherri Seitz March 29, 2016 949-837-7050 x239

Lake Forest, CA — The WateReuse Association California Section selected El Toro Water District (ETWD) as the 2016 Recycled Water Agency of the Year to receive the WateReuse Award for Excellence in its size category.  The WateReuse Association educates the public on the importance of reusing water and to advocate for policy, laws and funding to increase water reuse in communities across the United States.

This award recognizes agencies that have developed recycled water, on a significant level, as an alternative water source within their service area, regionally, or statewide. Recipients of this award have demonstrated exemplary leadership, creativity and persistence in developing a comprehensive program, as well as outreach to the community to expand awareness and implementation of water recycling.

The $34.4 million Recycled Water Expansion project constructed a 3.7 MGD (million gallons per day) capacity Tertiary Treatment Plant which significantly improves the treatment of existing recycled water and enabled the District to expand the availability and access to recycled water to its customers in the cities of Laguna Hills and Laguna Woods.

Project Highlights:

  • Constructed a new recycled water distribution system with over 100,000 feet of recycled water pipelines that enables the District to convert over 200 users
  • Enables the District to increase capacity to deliver recycled water by 950 AFY (acre feet per year) to approximately 1,450 AFY
  • In 2015 the District’s aggressive efforts to accelerate the retrofit portion of the project resulted in the conversion 179 dedicated irrigation meters to recycled water which saved over 750 AFY of drinking (potable) water
  • The project came in significantly under budget and ahead of schedule, making it possible for the District to comply with the State’s mandated water-use reduction by the District’s customers of 24%

The WateReuse California Section presented the Recycled Water Agency of the Year Award to El Toro Water District during the 2016 WateReuse California Annual Conference on March 14, 2016 in Santa Rosa, California.

According to Robert R. Hill, General Manager at El Toro Water District, “Two thousand fifteen (2015) presented a gargantuan challenge to deliver this Project in the midst of a major drought. The collective ETWD team/staff had to think strategically, work collaboratively and solve problems creatively on a new level. The results speak for themselves.”

The District was able to deliver the retrofit or meter conversion part of the project in 15 months versus 36 months. Given that the El Toro Water District is dependent upon imported water, and that the Recycled Water Expansion Project required the construction of approximately 100,000 feet or 19 miles of recycled water pipeline beneath existing roadway, this project is a monumental success.

Mr. Hill continues, “This award means a great deal to our staff, leadership team and Board of Directors. It’s nice for the staff to be recognized for their tireless efforts and dedication to serving our customers. We take our responsibility as stewards of our most valuable resource seriously and we’re proud of our accomplishment which will save millions of gallons of drinking water each year that would have otherwise been used for outdoor watering.”

Group Photo (L-R): Mark Monin, ETWD Director, Dennis P. Cafferty, ETWD Assistant General Manager/District Engineer, Scott Goldman, ETWD Board President, Mike Markus, Orange County Water District, General Manager

Dennis P. Cafferty, ETWD Assistant General Manager/District Engineer displays the WateReuse Recycled Water Award for Agency of the Year, presented to El Toro Water District

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