The East Valley Water District's main source of water for its customers is the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin. This source of water consists of a giant underground basin made up of soil, sand, and gravel saturated by water. Another high-quality source of water is the Santa Ana River, originating from snow-melt and springs high up in the San Bernardino Mountains.
During dry years, when water supplies are short, East Valley Water District has the option of obtaining supplemental water from the State Water Project through the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. Water from the State Water Project is imported from Northern California. Local water, however, acquired from the Santa Ana River and the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin is the preferred source of water for the community.
During wet years, when there is excess river water available, East Valley Water District works with the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District to transport surplus water to man-made spreading grounds. Spreading grounds are areas with porous soil where surface water can easily percolate into the groundwater basin and be stored for future use.
The district manages water through a system of pipelines, wells, reservoirs, pumping stations, and a treatment plant. The district's goal is to provide customers with excellent service at a reasonable cost. The district produces and delivers approximately 748 gallons of water (1 billing unit) to its customers for just $1.35 or 5½ gallons for 1 penny.
California has some of the most stringent water-quality standards in the nation. East Valley Water District must monitor and test for quality at all well sites, the treatment plant, in pipelines, and even in some of our customers' homes. All samples for testing are sent to independent state-certified laboratories. The standards are so strict that the district must test for, and then remove, substances in quantities as small as 1 part per billion.
That is the equivalent of finding and removing 1 drop of water in a typical swimming pool full of water. To meet these standards, East Valley Water District takes its surface water from high up in the Santa Ana River, ahead of most industrial, agricultural, and other kinds of potential contamination sources. The district's groundwater is also of high quality. However, certain areas were contaminated in the past and are no longer used as sources for water.
Regulations & Tools
New regulations require that all surface water which has been exposed to air, such as the Santa Ana River water, must be processed through the district's new state-of-the-art treatment plant. This plant is highly automated, saving money by limiting the need for staff supervision. Automated test equipment monitors the water quality at all times. The treatment plant produces very-high-quality water which exceeds all current and anticipated drinking water standards.
Another tool the district uses to maintain its distribution system is to periodically flush out pipelines to ensure that they remain clean and clear. Also, a small amount of chlorine is added to the water to ensure that it remains disinfected on its way to your home. Though the added chlorine may sometimes affect the taste, it is necessary to protect public health. To get rid of this taste you can set out a pitcher of water overnight so the chlorine can evaporate. Then you can refrigerate it.