IWD does not intend to store recycled water in Pine Cove: Foster Lake not a destination for the reclaimed water

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Recycled water from the Idyllwild Water District’s proposed plant will not be pumped and stored at its Foster Lake facility, acting board President John Cook wrote in an email Dec. 12.

“Neither current regulations nor science allow for recycled water recharge in a fractured rock zone so it is not possible to fill the Foster Lake reservoir with recycled water,” he said in response to a question regarding IWD’s purchase of two tax parcels near Foster Lake on Highway 243.

Cook added that the parcels were acquired to gain hydrologic data for Lily Creek. 

The question about the purpose of the parcels arose during the IWD’s special meeting last Friday. Several members of the Pine Cove Property Owners Association spoke to the board and delivered a letter, which they had sent to Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington, regarding their concerns about possible threats to Pine Cove’s water sources if IWD deposited recycled water in Foster Lake.

Cook said this was a misunderstanding. The recycled water project would terminate at water storage tank on Idyllwild Pines Camp. No water would be transported to Foster Lake, he said.

“It’s just for irrigation to Idyllwild Pines,” Cook told the audience.

Cook’s response did not explain why former General Manager Tom Lynch said the two purchased tax parcels were for the recycled water project. In IWD’s November 2015 letter to the county, Lynch wrote, “The properties are proximate to the Dutch Flat area and are ideally suited for monitoring wells. This would be a valuable asset to the District as it moves into its recycled water project.”

The board, including Cook, voted on a resolution approving the request to purchase the properties. The minutes of the meeting confirm their acquisition “… would be a valuable asset to the District as it moves into its recycled water project.”

“Yes, the PCPOA and others have misunderstood the recycled water project,” he wrote.   

Further, the two properties are not proximate to Lily Creek, which exits Foster Lake at least a quarter-mile east and crosses Highway 243 even further east near Cedar Glen and the Nature Center.

Regardless of the true intention to acquire the properties, Cook on behalf of the current board, has stated no recycled water will be pumped beyond Idyllwild Pines.

Then Cook added that, years after approving the project, IWD’s board should “… complete a business plan for the proposed project and a cost benefit analysis.”

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