San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency planning new percolation basins

Sept. 5, 2023
The Southern California water agency is planning the Brookside West Recharge Facility to support growing demand for water storage.

The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA), a Southern California State Water Contractor, is planning a new set of percolation basins to support growing demand for water storage.

SGPWA is planning the Brookside West Recharge Facility, which would complement the agency’s existing Brookside East Recharge Facility.

Brookside West’s 62.5 acres would house approximately 25 acres of recharge ponds.  The ponds, or basins, would import water from the State Water Project and filter the water down through layers of soil and rock to be stored underground.

The facility may also be used for local stormwater capture and to recharge treated reclaimed water.

“Recharge ponds offer an efficient solution to additional water storage while managing groundwater sustainably,” said Lance Eckart, SGPWA general manager. “They’re a vital tool to surviving droughts and, with the recent wet season, an efficient solution to increased water supplies.”

Brookside West will be built adjacent to existing recharge ponds and nearby pipelines. This prime location needs minimal added infrastructure, costing less to secure and deliver water to retail water providers in SGPWA’s service area.

With increased operational flexibility between Brookside West and Brookside East, pond maintenance would be streamlined.

There is also increased storage available when the State Water Project delivers peak levels of water supplies. The wet winter and strong runoff conditions from snowmelt this year have allowed the State Water Project to increase forecasted deliveries, making more water available to agencies with capacity — including groundwater recharge.

“Looking forward, the future of Brookside West Recharge Facility has real potential,” said SGPWA board president Larry Smith. “We need more imported recharge facilities, and having the ability to also keep local sources of water local are all possible because of forward-focused projects like this one.”