SMWD Advanced Purified Water Project

The Lake Mission Viejo Association (Association) owns and operates the 124-acre lake located at Alicia Parkway and Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo.  The lake, which holds approximately 350 acre feet of water, is maintained with a combination of water sources, including potable water supplies provided by Santa Margarita Water District.

In light of the ongoing drought conditions and in support of future water supplies, the Association evaluated alternative water sources to replace the use of potable water from the District.  The idea is to maintain lake water elevation levels with a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective source of local non-potable water that meets the water quality standards desired for the continued recreational use of the lake.

At the same time, the District is working to maximize its supply of potable water for domestic use. SMWD currently produces recycled water that is treated to standards for irrigation and other non-potable uses in accordance with Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, including for use in recreational lakes.

The Association currently purchases this recycled water from SMWD for irrigation.  While Title 22 water can legally be used in the lake, the Association has determined that the Association members want a higher water quality standard for the recreational uses of the lake by the members. The District, working with the Association, has determined that with additional treatment infrastructure, it can produce higher quality recycled water to meet the needs and demands of the Association at the lake.

What is Advanced Purified Water (APW)?
Advanced Purified Water is recycled water that has received additional levels of treatment to polish the water to the Lake Mission Viejo Association’s water quality specifications.

Is Advanced Purified Water safe?
Yes, Advanced Purified Water is safe for recreational activities, including swimming, at Lake Mission Viejo. 

Prior to the extra treatment, Santa Margarita Water District’s recycled water meets state and federal health regulations for swimming lakes (Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations).

Is Advanced Purified Water safe for human consumption?
While no ill effects would be anticipated from consuming APW, it is not yet approved for human consumption.

SMWD currently produces recycled water that is treated to standards for irrigation and other unrestricted non-potable uses in accordance with Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (“Title 22”); including for use in recreational lakes. 

LVMA currently purchases Title 22 recycled water from SMWD for irrigation and while Title 22 water can legally be used in the Lake, LVMA has determined that a higher water quality is desirable to maintain the lake quality to support the various recreational uses of the Lake by LVMA members. The District, in consultation with LVMA, has determined that with additional treatment infrastructure, it can produce higher quality recycled water to such standards and in adequate quantities as are necessary to meet the needs of LVMA at the Lake.

How much will the project cost?
The projected is expected to cost $5 million. The project is estimated to pay a premium for the water for 20-25 years

Who will pay for the project?
The Lake Mission Viejo Association will pay the capital costs of the APW treatment facility and for the water that is ultimately delivered for use in the lake.

Who approved the project?
Delegates representing the 81 neighborhoods within the 24,217-home Lake Mission Viejo Association voted unanimously to switch to Advanced Purified Water for lake refill and end nearly 40 years of using potable (drinking) water to maintain water levels in the 124-acre Orange County lake. In all, delegates cast 19,803 votes – representing 82 percent of the Association’s homeowners – all in favor of the Association working with the Santa Margarita Water District to construct a new treatment plant to produce Advanced Purified Water for the lake.

When will the project be completed?
Lake Mission Viejo will be filled with Advanced Purified Water by the end of August 2016.

NOI for SMWD Advanced Purified Water Project

LMVA APW Project - Draft IS-MND

Appendix A - Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Calculations

Appendix B - Biological Resources

Appendix C - Cultural Resources Inventory

Appendix D - Hazards Assessment

Appendix E - Field Noise Measurement Data

SMWD is currently closed

Contact Us

E-mail requests will be viewed between the hours of 8am-5pm M-F. Any e-mails sent after hours or on the weekend will be replied to during the next business day.

To use our LiveChat please check back during our normal operating hours of:

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Or

Fill out the form to the right to send us an e-mail.