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River Islands will soon start using recycled water
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Purple pipe is coming to River Islands. 

Earlier this month the Lathrop City Council signed off on a proposal that will allow Woodfield and Curran (formerly RMC Water and Environment) to serve as the program administrator for the city’s recycled water program and provide the management services needed to support the first year of the project’s implementation. 

The $57,843 cost of hiring the firm will be fully reimbursed by River Islands.

And while the project will initially focus on River Islands, who is funding the initial phases, the work will eventually other newly developed areas of Lathrop as well.

According to the staff report, the program will eventually be expanded to Mossdale, the Central Lathrop Specific Plan area and potentially other areas of development in order to provide the capability of using the city’s recycled water for urban landscape uses. 

The on-demand delivery would allow River Islands to use the recycled water from the city’s wastewater treatment plant to irrigate urban landscaping within the master planned community – saving precious groundwater supplies for residential use rather than applying it to landscaping. 

As part of the city’s Master Reclamation Permit adopted by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Recycled Water Program will need additional regulatory monitoring and reporting along with specialized supervisor training to oversee the operation and implementation. The nearly $58,000 being paid for by River Islands will cover those necessary expenses for the critical first year of the program. 

Currently the city disperses a percentage of its wastewater in spray fields along the San Joaquin River to fulfill mandated requirements. It is not uncommon for cities in San Joaquin County to discharge their treated wastewater back out into the San Joaquin River as long as it meets the strict purity standards laid out by the regulatory agencies that monitor the discharges. 

The project will allow the city to preserve the crucial drinking water that it gets from ground wells that serve the city – some of which comes from a critically overdrafted basin – and discussion of implementing such a program began during the heavy California drought that caused some wells in the Central Valley to go dry as water tables dropped tremendously from overuse by agricultural and governmental entities. 

Some neighboring cities, like Ripon, have proposed monetizing the on-demand deliver of non-potable water to help offset the costs of maintaining the infrastructure necessary to deliver the water to consumers.  


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.