Riverside County Supervisors Approve Funding for Sewer System Upgrades in Mecca

MECCA – This community is receiving a great deal of attention from the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. This time, it’s for sewer system upgrades.

In April, Supervisors, by a vote of 4-0, on Tuesday approved Supervisor V. Manuel Perez’s request to allocate $6 million from the Fourth District’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for a water infrastructure project that will facilitate affordable housing development in the community of Mecca.

In March, Supervisors voted to move forward the Mecca Regional Sports Park, which will create a new active green space and additional recreation opportunities for the community of Mecca, is set to begin construction at the end of next month.

Now, Riverside County and the Coachella Valley Water District are sharing the costs of a $6.2 million project that will expand the sewer infrastructure capacity to facilitate future affordable housing in Mecca.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday in support of Supervisor V. Manuel Perez’s request to allocate $3.1 million from the Fourth District’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to the Coachella Valley Water District for the water district’s Mecca Lift Station 55-11 Capacity Upgrade Project.

The Mecca Lift Station project will replace and upgrade the undersized sewer lift station, located in Mecca. The existing lift station is 30 years old and has reached maximum sewer capacity.

The project will expand the sewer system capacity for an additional future 600 to 700 homes. The project can also accommodate future expansion of the College of the Desert East Valley Campus, which is on a septic system.

“This is a great partnership with the Coachella Valley Water District,” Perez said in a prepared statement. “For years, there has been a moratorium on growth in the Mecca community due to the lack of clean water infrastructure and sewer system capacity. With these one-time federal funds, we are able to partner with Coachella Valley Water District to put in the infrastructure that can build out the affordable housing that is needed and finally expand the College of the Desert’s East Valley Campus in Thermal.”

According to the project timeline, the lift station project is planned to start construction in August 2023 with completion in June 2024.

“Bringing infrastructure to the Eastern Coachella Valley has been my number one priority. We have been working together over the last few years to address an issue that has existed in the ECV for decades,” said CVWD Vice President Cástulo Estrada.

“I’m proud of all the work we have accomplished, we’ve put together over $40 million in recent months to fund various clean water and sewer projects by partnering with Supervisor Perez and others. CVWD will continue to prioritize and support projects that help resolve social justice water issues in the ECV communities and I look forward to continued collaboration on all fronts to make this possible.”

This project is the third recent Coachella Valley Water District water/sewer infrastructure project in the community of Mecca to secure full funding to be built. The other two projects are:

  • The Ion Exchange Treatment Plant No. 7991 Project, which received $6 million last month from Supervisor Perez and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, to replace an old, non-functioning arsenic water treatment system. New affordable housing in the Mecca area is not able to be constructed until this treatment system is built.
  • The Avenue 66 Transmission Main Project, which received $23.4 million from the State Water Resources Control Board and $7 million in state budget funding requested by State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, to build five miles of pipeline to extend CVWD’s clean water supply to three communities and up to 35 future water systems. Among the communities that will be able to access the supply of clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing once this is built is St. Anthony Mobile Home Park, one of the largest mobile home communities in the eastern Coachella Valley.

Image Sources

  • Wastewater Treatment: CVWD