Water Department Overview
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians Water Department under the direction the of Reservation Services Administrator’s office has the responsibility to provide a safe, reliable, and potable water supply to the reservation residents and commercial Enterprises. This department also maintains, operates, and provides non-potable water to residents where it is available within the residential areas. The Tribe under the direction of the US Environmental Protection Agency conforms to the Safe Drinking Water Act and all regulatory rules. Also, our departments oversees the operations staff at the Tribal Wastewater reclamation facility and the domestic water system located at Tukwet Canyon Golf Club in Beaumont. A water conservation plan was developed and initiated in 2007 to help maintain and ensure that our most precious natural resource is protected for future generations.
The Morongo Water Department is one of several departments serving the reservation area and Enterprise facilities. The department has 5 full time water system operators, 1 field supervisor, and the department manager, all of which are State Certified operators. The water system is controlled and operated utilizing the most advanced SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system allowing operators to view and operate the system from any location in real time. Our water supply consists of groundwater production wells utilizing high efficient pumps and motors while maximizing efficient pumping rates to off-set high peak electrical demand time periods.
This mode of operation will save the Tribe $100-$150,000 each year in reduced energy costs savings. The Tribal water infrastructure consists of over 35 miles of potable water mains, 6 production wells, 5 disinfection stations, 15 pressure reducing stations, and 4 storage reservoirs.
Water Conservation & Resources
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians recognizes the need for water conservation. This vital natural resource is the key to our future and has become an integral planning and operational component. Our department and the tribal Environmental Protection Department initiated a water conservation plan in 2007/08 to promote and educate Tribal residents and employee’s the value to conserve through mailers, information booths, conservation kits and technical advice. Normal daily usage (60-70%) occurs outside the home with only a fraction of usage occurring inside. As part of our plan we recommend California native plants (www.cnps.org), drip irrigation, and smart timers.
The Water Department has a primary responsibility to assure that the water that arrives at your tap meets or exceeds current water quality standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. We sample over 100 constituents each year utilizing a State of California Certified Laboratory located in Riverside, CA.
Specifications & Standards
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians Water Department updated its construction specifications and standards for the construction of water facilities and conveyance systems in 2008, 2010 and a new revision in early 2016. These standards are developed to insure water infrastructure projects are built to current industry standards.
Potrero Canyon Groundwater Replenishment Project: (Insert pic# DSC01115) This project was re-built by the Water and Public Works Department to enhance the ability to re-charge surface waters for future drinking water in Potrero Canyon. Since 2006, we have re-charged over 700 million gallons of water that would have normally traversed down the canyon and eventually made its way to Cabazon. This is a vital project because it will allow us to store water in the underground basin for pumping during drought conditions. Final Completion was 2006
Cobblestone Well: (DSC00765) This project was authorized by the Tribal Council and is the primary water supply to the Casino and all Enterprises including the Tribal wastewater reclamation plant. This well has the capability of producing over 1250 gallons per minute 24 hours a day and the water quality is exceptional. It is also equipped with a standby generator that will automatically start should normal power supply be interrupted. Included in this project was a 2 mile pipeline that connects the well to the reservoir located on Martin Rd. and Millard Pass Rd. Final completion was 2007.
Fields Rd. Pipeline: (P8130003) This project was authorized by Tribal Council in 2007 for replacement. The existing pipeline located between Morongo Rd. and Martin Rd. had numerous failures between 2003-2007 primarily due to inadequate pipe manufacturing when it was produced. Consequently when this size of pipe fails, it tends to damage the entire roadway which was very costly to repair. This project included 1 mile of pipeline and re-locating an existing pressure reducing station which took 3 months to complete. Currently there is over 3.5 miles of pipeline in need of replacement; the Water Department has applied for Federal grants to help fund remaining sections of failed pipe. Final completion was 2008.
Mission Tank: (Insert pic# DSC00755 & 752) This construction project was authorized for replacement by Tribal Council in 2008 primarily due to the lack of size and aging of the existing tank. The original reservoir had a capacity of 15,000 gallons and the new reservoir will hold up to 200,000 gallons and serves the Mission Rd. area. The installation of a new pressure reducing station located at Mission Rd. and Foothill Rd. allows water to flow into the Potrero system should we have an emergency with the canyon pipeline or the Potrero reservoirs. Prior to these new projects there was NO backup system to serve the residential area of the reservation without the installation of the new Mission tank and pressure reducing station. Final completion was 2009
Wood Canyon Stream Flow Station (Insert pic# DSC01060 ) This project was constructedat the confluence of Wood Canyon located atop of Potrero Canyon watershed. The Environmental and Water Department were in charge of this project which was fully funded under a Bureau of Indian Affairs Water Resources grant. This facility will automatically measure the stream flow and log all data for historical recordings. The Tribe has water rights to Wood Canyon under the Whitewater Adjudication of 1938 and it is important that we have records of all surface flows. Final completion was 2009 (Millard and Hathaway Canyons were completed in 2012)
Potrero Tank Seismic Retrofitting: (Insert pic# DSC00048) The existing reservoirs were built in 1996 utilizing current construction standards available at that time. The new standards were changed in 1999 which including seismic anchoring, flexible connectors, and interior baffling. The tanks are located at the mouth of Potrero Canyon approximately 1200’ from the San Andreas Fault line and are the primary water storage for the residential area including the backup supply for the Enterprises. This project was funded partially by Indian Health Services and the Morongo Water Department. Final completion was 2010.
Stone Ditch Rehabilitation Project: (Insert pic #DSC01123) This project was started in early 2011 to rebuild the original stone ditch conveyance channel which is located in Potrero Canyon. The ditch starts in Wood Canyon and traverses to the lower area of Potrero Canyon. The rehabilitation project area is located east of the BOG which will allow us to better utilize the Bog waters for irrigation and groundwater re-charge. Project completion was 2012
South Well and Transmission Pipeline Project: (insert pic #
This project was constructed and funded by the Arrowhead Bottling Company under a previous contract with the Tribe. This facility will serve domestic water to the plant used for municipal services. The well facility has the ability to deliver 2500 gallons per minute, 24 hours per day. The pipeline was over 2200 feet. Project completion date was 2013.
Water Transmission Pipeline Project: (Insert pic Main Replace Map)
The Tribe received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and Indian Health Services to assist in the replacement of the existing 16” transmission pipeline that starts at the mouth of Potrero Canyon and terminates at Canyon Lanes area. This project was fully funded with grants which consisted of 8600 feet of pipeline being replaced on Potrero, Morongo, and Martin Roads. Final completion date was 2014
Water Transmission Pipeline Project: (insert pic
This project consists of replacing the remaining 4000 feet of 16” pipeline that is the primary backup to the Enterprises. This project will complete the replacement of the existing pipeline. Project start date is spring 2016.