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River Islands recycled wastewater helping replenish groundwater

River Islands is the first neighborhood in Lathrop to use recycled water for irrigation purposes – saving precious groundwater.

And now that the master planned development – which will be home to more than 11,000 homes when its fully built-out – is moving into its next phase, the development has requested that the city allow for nearly 50 more acres be added to an existing lease agreement for spray fields that are required for the distribution of treated wastewater.

And they’ll get almost a decade tacked onto their lease for the spray fields that they already employ.

With the blessing of the Lathrop City Council, the development has agreed to pay the property taxes on almost 50 acres where treated wastewater will be deployed, filtering back down through the soil where it will eventually add to existing groundwater supplies.

The request, while seemingly routine, is a marker for just how strong residential home development in the community has become, and how far the city has rebounded after the nationwide housing crisis and economic slowdown hit Lathrop particularly hard.

The sheer length of the slowdown is exactly while River Islands asked for an extension of nine years on their existing lease with the city to provide sprayfields for the dissemination of treated wastewater. The agreement, which was inked in 2005 and set for a 20-year period, will not expire in 2035 after the council’s agreement to extend the amount of time that the development will be responsible for paying the property taxes on the existing sprayfields already in the agreement, and any subsequent fields that will be added as a result of the most recent council action.

But not all of the recycled wastewater generated by the water treatment plant paid for by River Islands will be spread across the new and existing fields outlined in the most recent agreement.

According to the proposal that was approved by the council back in March, River Islands has agreed to pay for the necessary infrastructure to get the recycled water program up and running since they will be the first development that will have eligible public landscaping and parks able to receive the deliveries.

Part of updating the existing recycled water program required a recycled water use agreement, Site Supervisor training, and the establishment of rules and regulations required by the State to be implemented for the safe use of recycled water, all of which are currently complete.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.