As the summer heat scorches Southern California, many residents may be cooling off by enjoying a swim in their backyard or community pool, a run through the sprinklers or a refreshing drink of water.
Most people take their easy and uninterrupted access to water for granted without realizing how water agencies here and across the nation work tirelessly to provide their customers with a reliable supply of safe and clean water each and every day.
August is National Water Quality Month, which is a good time to stop and think about how communities are provided safe, clean water whenever they need it and how they can help protect local water sources.
Eastern Municipal Water District works hard to ensure their customers always receive high-quality water. The district’s water comes from several sources, including the Colorado River, the State Water Project and local groundwater. EMWD has state-of-the-art water filtration plants that clean and deliver water to homes and businesses across their 555-square mile service area.
Over the course of the year, the water is rigorously tested and monitored for over 200 potential contaminants or impurities. In 2018 alone, EMWD’s laboratory personnel collected 8,307 water samples and performed 54,124 tests to monitor and ensure water quality.
EMWD provides every one of our customers with an annual Consumer Confidence Report detailing the water sources and showing how the water district consistently meets or surpasses the safe drinking water standards set by the California State Water Resources Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The latest report can also be found at www.EMWD.org/waterquality.
As part of the district’s continuing commitment to water quality and to increasing local water supplies, EMWD is committed to the multifaceted Groundwater Reliability Plus initiative. This initiative includes recycling 100% of wastewater for landscape and agricultural irrigation as well as commercial uses; a healthy sewers program that helps reduce contaminants in wastewater collections systems and a desalination program to reduce the salinity in local groundwater basins. EMWD is also evaluating a future water purification project to supplement the local drinking water supply.
The community can help protect local water sources by taking a few easy steps such as disposing of fats, oil and grease by mixing them with absorbent waste materials, throwing personal hygiene products in the trash instead of flushing them and disposing of medications by putting them in a pharmaceutical or homemade pouch or returning them to a pharmacy. Find more information at www.EMWD.org/SewerSmart.
All of these programs and projects help EMWD live up to its mission of delivering value to customers and continuing to foster trust within our communities. EMWD is proud to always provide a safe, sustainable water supply for its customers now and in the future.
Ronald W. Sullivan is the board president of Eastern Municipal Water District. EMWD is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency and provides water, wastewater and recycled water services to more than 825,000 people living and working in western Riverside County, including Hemet, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Perris, San Jacinto, Temecula and unincorporated lands in between.