On January 22, 2004, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted Basin Plan Amendment (Resolution No. R8-2004-0001) which updated the groundwater basin boundaries and water quality objectives for total dissolved solids and nitrogen. The updated Basin Plan also included revised waste load allocations for discharges to the Santa Ana River and its tributaries, revised findings regarding assimilative capacity in ground water, and a plan for wastewater reclamation in the Santa Ana Watershed.
To accommodate recycled water projects in the Upper Santa Ana Watershed, alternative water quality objectives, "Maximum Benefit" objectives were established in some groundwater basins. In return, the series of commitments of salt removals and monitoring programs to ensure that the beneficial uses of the ground water basins are protected. As a result of these requirements, the Yucaipa Valley Water District planned and constructed reverse osmosis facilities at the Wochholz Regional Water Recycling Facility to remove salts and minerals from the recycled water supply and significantly improved the water quality in the region.
The minerals that are removed from the recycled water supply in the Yucaipa Valley creates a brine solution that is about 1/10th the salinity of ocean water. This brine is discharged to the Orange County Sanitation District is a separate pipeline for treatment and reuse or disposal.
For more information, visit the Santa Ana Region Ground Water Salt Management Plan hosted by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.