Stimulus supports ‘purple pipes'
Reusing water is the ultimate conservation program, and California state authorities apparently agree. They approved Inland Empire Utilities Agency's $30 million plan to build new, or improve, infrastructure necessary to recycle an additional 10,000 acre-feet of wastewater annually to be funded almost entirely through the stimulus package.
The projects, which began construction last summer and are scheduled to be completed by this fall, include:Two new pipelines, each about 13,000 feet, for a total of 2.5 milesBuilding a pump station to boost recycled water to higher pressure zonesConverting a 2.5-million-gallon reservoir from potable water to recycled waterInstalling five specialized monitoring wells to ensure water quality is maintained and to measure travel times for the recycled water.
In addition, two greenfield residential developments are fully dual-plumbed, meaning that each house has a treated-water piping system and a separate system with purple-colored pipes indicating recycled water.
CEO and General Manager Richard Atwater attributes his team's success in accessing stimulus funds to a combination of factors: Employees paid attention to and followed tedious application details; and the project promotes conservation, so it received credit for promoting energy savings and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
And, finally, plain old luck: Design/planning had been completed, so the project was shovel-ready.