Las Flores Recycled Water

Santa Margarita Water District is piping recycled water to Las Flores to increase the amount of recycled water used for local irrigation. By using more recycled water, the District will save 65 million gallons of imported drinking water for essential indoor use.

The District will build a new recycled water distribution system for irrigation in the Las Flores area.  Approximately 12,500 feet (or 2½ miles) of recycled water pipeline (“Purple Pipe”) will be constructed beneath the roadways. This new distribution system will be completely separate from the drinking water distribution system and used for irrigation only. The District will increase the delivery of recycled water for irrigation by approximately 65 million gallons per year. 

Like most water districts in South Orange County, SMWD relies on imported water from hundreds of miles away from Northern California and the Colorado River to meet its customer demand. To meet the current demand for irrigation of many parks, greenbelts, golf courses, and other common areas, SMWD uses both recycled water and imported drinking water. By expanding the recycled water distribution system, SMWD will increase recycled water usage which will significantly reduce dependence on imported potable water for irrigation.  


Latest News

  • Due to unexpected challenges, the project is delayed to the end of October 2023
  • Morning Trail & Meandering Trail: Leaks were found during pressure testing. Portions of the pipelines need to be dug up and reinstalled. 
  • Oso & Meandering Trail: The intersection will be repaved on a weekend to reduce the impacts on school and commuter traffic. 

Construction Overview

March 15 - October 6, 2023
  • Monday - Friday from 7 AM to 5 PM
  • Saturdays as needed
  • Phase 1 (March 27 - Oct. 6): Meandering Trail from Antonio to Oso Parkway  
  • Phase 2 (April 17 - Oct. 6): Morning Trail/Meandering Trail 
  • Phase 3 (June 13 July 21): Oso Parkway from the shopping center to Morning Trail
  • Phase 4 (June 2 - July 21): Oso Parkway east of Meandering Trail
  • The schedule is subject to weather and other factors

Project Overview

  • $5.4 million investment in infrastructure
  • 2.5 miles of recycled water pipeline beneath the roadways
  • Recycled water is safe for use on common areas

Project Benefits

  • Drought-proof water supply for irrigating common areas
  • Reduces dependence on imported water
  • Saves 65 million gallons of drinking water 

This high-level overview map provides a quick overview of the entire project (Phases 1 & 2) and its estimated timing.

All recycled water produced by SMWD for irrigation meets or exceeds, the stringent water quality requirements for California as established by the State Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Public Health. 

Las Flores Recycled Water Expansion Map_p4_sf

Community Communication

  • Letter mailed to customers on 5/23/22
  • Community meeting held on 6/8/22
  • Email notifications send to customers on 4/23/23 and 6/8/23
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