The Coachella Valley Water District recycles more than 2 billion gallons of wastewater each year, subjecting it to an advanced multi-step process that filters out solids, organic materials, chemicals and germs. At 3 of the district’s 6 wastewater reclamation plants, the treated water is clean enough for human contact (though not consumption), groundwater replenishment or outdoor irrigation.
Recycled water is a safe alternative when the guidelines are followed and it is used for its intended purpose. Recycled water must meet strict water quality standards outlined in Title 22, Chapter 3, Division 4 of the California Code of Regulations. In order to make sure that CVWD's reclamation plants are meeting Title 22 standards, every day a recycled water sample is collected and analyzed for total coliform bacteria. Also, chlorine residual, modal contact time, and turbidity are continuously monitored.
Increasing the supply and use of recycled water is a key component of CVWD’s long-range water management plans.
Golf Course Irrigation
The Coachella Valley is home to more than 120 golf courses. Unfortunately, the amount of wastewater that is recycled can’t meet the year-round irrigation needs of the courses. To increase the available nonpotable water supply for golf courses to reduce their demand on the aquifer, CVWD in 2009 completed the Mid-Valley Pipeline Project to bring Colorado River water to the Water District’s largest wastewater reclamation plant in Palm Desert.
Currently, 17.5 golf courses within CVWD boundaries use this nonpotable blend of recycled water and Colorado River water for irrigation. An additional 36 golf courses use all Colorado River water imported from the Coachella Canal. Plans are underway for an additional 40.5 golf courses to switch from groundwater to these nonpotable supplies in the future.