In response to its years-long effort to bring a modernized sewer system to an economically disadvantaged neighborhood, Eastern Municipal Water District recently cleared a major funding hurdle as part of its Quail Valley sewer infrastructure project in the city of Menifee.
The $1.93 million grant recommendation was ratified by the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority commission on Dec. 18. It will be presented with SAWPA’s Recommended Project Portfolio to the Department of Water Resources in March 2013 for funding consideration.
EMWD is the lead agency on the project and is working with Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, the cities of Menifee and Canyon Lake, the County of Riverside and the non-profit Quail Valley Environmental Coalition (QVEC).
The grant recommendation is the first in several steps that must play out over the course of the next year before the funding is finalized.
The $1.93 million grant application must be given final approval by the Department of Water Resources. That decision is not expected until late 2013.
EMWD, in collaboration with its QVEC partners, is exploring a variety of other funding options for the expected remaining costs of the project.
Bringing a modernized sewer system to the area is vital to improve public health in the region. Homes in the area are dependent on failing septic tanks, which can frequently leak harmful waste into the surface and groundwater. That contaminated water impacts public health and the environment throughout the entire region, including Canyon Lake.
EMWD Director Ronald W. Sullivan, whose district includes the Quail Valley area, described the funding as vital.
"This is a major step forward for this project," said Sullivan, who also serves on the QVEC advisory board. "Should this project come to fruition, it will ensure that our entire region is protected from the public health risks that are caused by these leaking septic systems."