Terry Lyons (left), Bill Rojas (center) and President Allan Morphett (right) Photo by Mike Freitas

After several months of discussion, the directors of the Idyllwild Water District approved an ordinance for mandatory recycled water use.


The new ordinance mandates the use of recycled water “for the following purposes: agricultural irrigation, construction use, landscape irrigation, landscape and or recreation impoundments and wildlife habitat.”

The board also declared the use of potable water would be prohibited for these uses if recycled water is available.

The policy indicates the district may require the use of recycled water instead of potable water and that the customer, whether existing or new, would incur the costs of a separate delivery system. However the district does provide exceptions when economics does not justify the conversion.

The directors next approved a resolution establishing a new process for customers to obtain a “will serve” letter from the district. Usually, this letter is a county requirement to obtain approval for construction or plans.

The new process is much more specific about obtaining water demand, including for fire and other uses and how those estimates should be calculated. Board President Allan Morphett stressed that the principal change is specifying who may make the water demand calculations. Also, a fixture audit may be required before the final approval letter is issued.

In water business, General Manager Terry Lyons reported declining flows in Strawberry and Lily creeks. Consequently, Foster Lake water level was 14.5 feet in July compared to 17 feet or nearly full in June.

In addition, the district is repairing well nos. 13 and 23. Their production volume has declined. Lyons is confident the repair work will result in a substantially increased pumping volume at both sites.

The board also approved a resolution changing monthly board meetings from Tuesday to Wednesday. The first meeting pursuant to the resolution will be 6 p.m., an hour earlier, Sept. 19.

At that meeting, Director John Cook said the pension committee would report to the board on its review this summer. He indicated that topics such as size of the district retirement set-aside, employee share and retirement age would be discussed. But before returning to the board, he hopes to meet with employees.