Direct Potable Water Reuse project to be complete in early 2018

Originally expected to be done this month, the completion of the Direct Potable Water Reuse Project has now been reset for early 2018.

The completion of the project comes at a great time as drought conditions have crept back in. Once operational, the reuse project will help maintain Lake Arrowhead levels.

"We're in good shape and we'll get this project started and that'll shore it up even better," said Director of Public Works, Russell Schreiber.

The 17.5 mile-long pipeline phase of the project is complete and that leaves finishing up the improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.

"Anytime you're working inside a treatment plant, especially one that's been here since the 1920s, you just have no idea what you're going to run into underground. A lot of the system is a gravity feed so one of those lines have to be moved or rerouted. That's some of the reason the project got drug out as long as it did," said Schreiber.

But that hasn't stopped them from already firing up some parts of the system to get it ready and test it for the official start scheduled in January.

Around 10 to 12 million gallons are taken out of the lake per day, once operational the pipeline will take 8 to 9 million gallons of treated water back to the lake.

"This is a water management strategy, it doesn't make us drought resistant. It makes us more drought tolerant, but not completely drought resistant," said Schreiber.

Currently, during this dry streak, the lake remains at 88% capacity. Stage one, where measures are taken to conserve water, happens at 65%

"It'll push the implementation of stage one out further. We won't have to do it as quickly as we would have had to do if this water wasn't running back into the lake," said Schreiber.

We'll continue to cover this story on-air and online with another update next month.

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