Groundbreaking Held for DWR-Funded Project to Improve Drinking Water, Sewer Services


St. Anthony Groundbreaking Ceremony

Thang (Vic) Nguyen, Chief of DWR’s Southern Region Office delivers remarks during the groundbreaking celebration of the St. Anthony Sewer Extension Project in Mecca, CA. Photo provided by CVWD.

Elected officials, federal and state government representatives, local agencies and community members gathered October 17 in Mecca, Calif., to witness the groundbreaking of the St. Anthony Sewer Pipeline and Lift Station Extension Project.

This project, four years in the making, was made possible by funding from the DWR Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Grant Program. DWR’s IRWM Grant Program is designed to encourage integrated regional strategies for the management of water resources and to provide funding for programs and projects that support integrated water management planning and implementation.

In 2014, DWR awarded $740,000 in Proposition 84 IRWM grant funding to Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and project sponsor Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation (PUCDC). These funds provide financial assistance for projects to help local agencies meet the long-term water needs of the state, including the delivery of safe drinking water and the protection of water quality and the environment. A portion of Proposition 84 grant funds were awarded to projects that addressed the needs of disadvantaged communities statewide, including the St. Anthony Sewer Extension.

CVWD and PUCDC were able to leverage their local funds with the state grant to secure an additional $3.15 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This multi-benefit project addresses the health, safety, and environmental concerns of the St. Anthony and Huerta Polanco Mobile Home Parks, home to about 400 residents in the Eastern Coachella Valley.

The project will replace the existing, failing wastewater system to provide sanitary and reliable wastewater disposal and treatment, protect groundwater quality, and upgrade old and leaky drinking water distribution pipes. Construction is expected to be completed by January 2019.

Distinguished guests at the groundbreaking celebration included Thang (Vic) Nguyen, Chief of DWR’s Southern Region Office.

“This project is a testament to our state’s continued efforts toward revitalizing aged and outdated water infrastructure, while also ensuring that communities have access to safe and reliable water supplies, including those benefiting disadvantaged communities,” Nguyen said.