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US EPA grants Murrieta $96,000 to plan new sewer lines

Release Date: 2/10/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, U.S. EPA, (213) 452-3378

     Hundred-year old system to be replaced, protecting local water supply

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently granted the community of Murrieta, Calif., $96,800 to plan and design a new wastewater system in an effort to protect local water sources from future contamination.
     Like many other communities in this rapidly expanding area, Murrieta relies on an underground water aquifer for its daily water needs.  Given its growth,  this community of 70,000 required a new sewage system to accommodate the increased discharge and not cause flooding and consequent water contamination.

     Flooding along the Murrieta Creek has left the "Old Town" downtown section of Murrieta  particularly vulnerable, due to its aging septic tank and sewer systems.  Bacteria and viruses found in wastewater from aging septic systems can lead to waterborne diseases such as gastrointestinal illness, cholera, hepatitis A, and typhoid.

     "Southern California's water resources are both a gift and a responsibility.  With this plan, Murrieta will be able to address its vital wastewater treatment needs, and provide greater public health and environmental protection," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's Water Division in San Francisco.

    "This grant is an important part of our plan to improve the original core of our community," said Murrieta Mayor Jack van Haaster.  "Providing a safe and efficient means of treating and eliminating wastewater while protecting our environment is critical to enhancing our 100-year-old downtown and restoring it to a place of prominence in an otherwise newly-built city," said van Hasster.
     The EPA provides both direct and indirect assistance in the area of municipal wastewater treatment.  Direct assistance includes one-on-one discussions about design, operation and maintenance of systems, and the identification and solution of problems.  Indirect assistance includes support for the development of regulations; technical information; guidance, assessments, evaluation, and cost estimates for the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

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