The City of Clovis Recycled Water Plant

The State Water Resources Control Board is encouraging recycled water projects throughout the State of California. By building out the Recycled Water Master Plan, Clovis will be able to meet its projected water needs in the next 25-30 years while protecting its precious groundwater resource, reducing historic groundwater overdraft, and enhancing groundwater recharge. 

In early 2009, the City began operating its own state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and water recycling distribution system. The Clovis Water Reuse Facility is located on approximately 16 acres of property north of Ashlan and west of McCall Avenues.

In light of projected water balance needs, Clovis recognizes the importance of recycled water as a much-needed new water source. The wastewater treatment plant will ultimately produce 9,400 acre-feet of “disinfected tertiary treated recycled water” annually through a membrane bioreactor facility. The Recycled Water System will then carry this highly-treated water to irrigate green belts, median islands, parks, trails and paseos, State Route 168, and agricultural operations throughout the City.

Purpose and Need

Recycled Water – A New Water Supply

Until recently, groundwater had been the sole water supply for the City of Clovis since 1913. But groundwater is not a sustainable water supply and overdraft in the regional aquifer resulted in groundwater levels dropping over 100 feet in the last 50 years. Wells were going dry due to dropping water levels and the well field infrastructure was threatened by contamination of natural and man-made chemicals. 

In 1972, Clovis obtained access to surface water from the Fresno Irrigation District (FID). Some of that water is used to recharge groundwater supplies; some is sent to the Surface Water Treatment Plant, which was completed in 2004, where it is treated and distributed as high-quality drinking water. Additionally, some of the FID surface water remains untreated and is used to irrigate City of Clovis parks and other common areas. 

Water that can be treated to potable (drinkable) standards is a resource that is limited in supply and should therefore be reserved for the highest human uses whenever possible. That is why the City of Clovis has taken steps to develop a new water supply that is perfect for landscape irrigation and industrial applications. That new, sustainable water supply is highly-treated recycled water. 

The construction of the Water Reuse Facility and the treated water distribution system is funded by bonds which will be repaid by new development fees.

Recycled Water Quality

The new Clovis Water Reuse Facility treats its wastewater to tertiary recycled water standards (also referred to as advanced water treatment), which is the highest level of treatment defined by the State. This level of treatment allows for unrestricted reuse in virtually all reclaimed water applications. 

The City’s recycled water is monitored and tested daily to ensure that it consistently meets these high quality standards. This ensures water quality that far exceeds its intended use. In thousands of applications throughout the U.S., there has never been a documented illness from recycled water use that has been installed per regulations. Consistent inspections and strict regulations are also in place to ensure that the drinking and recycled water systems remain separate.