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EPA Recognizes Excellence and Innovation in Southern California Clean Water Infrastructure Project

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Alejandro Diaz (

SAN DIEGO  – On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 30 clean water and 25 drinking water infrastructure projects for excellence within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. Among those recognized is the innovative drinking water project by California’s Valley Center Municipal Water District. These exemplary projects showcase water quality improvements and public health protections that can be achieved when the federal government, states, municipalities and local utilities work together.

“The State Revolving Fund programs play a critical role in helping communities modernize aging infrastructure, create jobs, and protect public health and the environment,” said David Ross, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “These projects are making vital water quality improvements in communities across the country.”

“Improvements to ensure clean water and drinking water are a priority in California and the rest of the Pacific Southwest region,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “EPA recognizes the creative and community-driven work these projects represent.”

The State Revolving Funds (SRF) which benefit California are EPA-state partnerships that provide communities with a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality and drinking water infrastructure projects. EPA’s SRFs have provided more than $170 billion in financial assistance to over 39,900 water quality infrastructure projects and 14,500 drinking water projects across the country.

This year’s honored projects include large wastewater infrastructure upgrades, community driven green infrastructure development and the construction of new water treatment plants. Several projects also include lead service line replacement, furthering EPA’s goals to protect human health under the Federal Lead Action Plan. All of these projects highlight outstanding achievements in water quality improvement that benefit Americans from coast to coast.

EPA’s inaugural AQUARIUS program celebrates innovation, sustainability, and public health protection demonstrated by DWSRF programs and assistance recipients. Each participating state program nominated one project for this first-ever recognition. Nominated projects all had to complete construction within the last two years, and be compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act, along with providing financial integrity and public health benefits. The Valley Center Municipal Water District project (Valley Center) and 24 others being implemented by state or local governments and drinking water utilities are being recognized by the 2019 AQUARIUS program.

Under Valley Center’s initiative, the Water District designed and installed a liner to prevent leakage from the reservoir. The new liner minimizes bacteriological growth by creating a barrier between the drinking water and the reservoir’s concrete liner, thus minimizing the current need for disinfection. The project also includes replacing the current reservoir cover with a new reinforced floating version, which will provide more effective coverage for the reservoir. Both the new liner and cover are designed and specified to have a service life of over 20 years.

To see the full list of recognized projects and learn more about the AQUARIUS Program, visit

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