By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 05/12/16 – 5:30 PM PDT |

HIGHLAND >> The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and East Valley Water District announced Thursday a joint $2.65 million purchase of 14 acres of land in Highland that will serve as the location of a wastewater treatment plant that will put back millions of gallons of purified water daily into the local groundwater supply.

“Our average peak demand is 20 million gallons a day, so with conclusion of the project, we’re going to be receiving 50 percent of our daily demands with this new source,” said John Mura, general manager and CEO of the East Valley Water District, which serves the city of Highland and parts of San Bernardino.

Officials hope to begin construction by late 2016, with an opening by the end of 2018, Mura said.

The Sterling Natural Resource Center will be located on the west side of North Del Rosa Drive between East Fifth and Sixth streets in Highland. Total cost of the project is estimated at $128 million, according to officials.

Treated water from the plant, generated solely from within the East Valley Water District service area, will be recharged into the local Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin, where hundreds of millions of gallons of water will be stored for use in dry years. The center will use the most advanced and safest technology, including membrane bioreactors, to produce disinfected water that meets or exceeds all requirements for groundwater recharge, officials said.

Work on the project is expected to generate 800 construction jobs and would result in the creation of 1,400 jobs directly and indirectly related to the project, based on an analysis by Inland Empire economist John Husing.

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