It is very likely that the early founders of the District did not envision ever providing wastewater treatment and recycling services to the very rural and sparsely populated service area they saw in the early 1950’s. However, development patterns and physical limitations on the ability of local soils to absorb domestic waste eventually created a need which the District was empowered by law to meet.
Lower Moosa Canyon Water Reclamation Facility Service Area
Higher density residential and commercial development on the western edge of the District in the late 1960’s required wastewater treatment and disposal facilities to be constructed. Initially these were small scale treatment and disposal operations to serve individual developments, such as the Meadows, Welk’s Village and Circle R. Anticipated new development along the 395 corridor would need more wastewater treatment and disposal capacity. To meet this need, the District sought out grant funding from the state and federal government under the Clean Water Act. Its efforts were successful as an 87.5% grant, supplemented by a local match of 12.5, was secured to build the Lower Moosa Canyon Water Reclamation Facility. Completed in 1974, Lower Moosa Canyon still operates today, treating upwards of 400,000 gallons per day of domestic and commercial wastewater to advanced secondary standards for indirect water recycling through groundwater recharge. Capacity expansion and a treatment process upgrade to tertiary for direct recycling is anticipated, driven for new development along what is now known as the I-15 corridor.
Wastewater Recycling for the Central Valley Area
In the late 1970’s, wastewater treatment was being evaluated for the 5,000 acre area known as the Central Valley of Valley Center. Local funding was first evaluated but was felt to be too expensive. As with Lower Moosa Canyon, the District turned to outside assistance from the state and federal government and efforts to secure outside funding for the Central Valley system were successful. By the mid 1980's, the District secured initial approval of grant funds and started planning and designing a low pressure sewer collection system, or STEP system to serve the 5,000 acre Central Valley Service Area. However, by the late 1980's, growing local concern over growth impacts from a wastewater treatment system led to a voter referendum in 1988 ending the project.
With the grant lost, local property owners turned to the County of San Diego and in 1990 efforts were initiated to form an assessment district to fund the construction of a system to serve the Central Valley. However, with concerns mounting over rising cost estimates and affordability, property owners asked the county Board of Supervisors to stop the project in 1997.
It was with a major development, Woods Valley Ranch, that wastewater treatment and recycling finally came to the Central Valley. The Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation Facility (WVRWRF) was completed in 2005 to serve the residential and golf course development by the same name, with the tertiary treated recycled water from the residences transported back to the golf course for storage and irrigation.
With a modern operating treatment facility in place, efforts began again to secure wastewater treatment and recycling services for surrounding properties in what is now known as the North and South Villages of Valley Center.
Expansion of the WVRWRF, installation of a collection system, and construction of a wet-weather storage reservoir will be provided by local funds and a low interest loan from the state of California secured by an assessment district over participating properties. At this writing, design is underway, construction is anticipated to start in early 2015, and the project is anticipated to be operational by mid to late 2016.