Frequently Asked Questions

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Recycled Water

Is water recycling a new technology?

No. California's first recycling project began in 1929 when the city of Pomona started using treated municipal wastewater for landscape irrigation.

Is Recycled Water safe?

Yes, recycled water is safe. Recycled water is a highly treated, filtered and disinfected product that meets criteria established by the California Department of Health Services. Recycled water is appropriate for all human contact, except drinking.

What is Water Recycling?

Recycled water is wastewater that has been purified through a high level of treatment. Recycled Water is treated to strict standards set by the California Department of Health Services and is constantly monitored by local, State, and Federal Regulatory agencies to ensure it continuously meets those standards. In fact, all water on earth is in some way recycled. Mother Nature has been recycling water and wastewater through a natural cleansing process of purification. Modern wastewater treatment technology essentially speeds up this natural process through sedimentation, organic consumption, natural filtration and disinfection.

Why is Inland Empire Utilities Agency Recycling Water?

To protect the environment and meet local water needs. Water recycling is not a luxury but a necessity as water is a precious natural resource that is in short supply in semi-arid Southern California. There is no new water so recycled water reduces dependence on our limited water supplies helping to drouth-proof the rapidly growing Inland Empire. 100 percent of the IEUA's recycled water is reused. Recycled water provides a safe, cost-effective and reliable supply of high quality water.

How is Recycled Water Treated?

Water treatment technology has been developed to mimic nature's cleansing process. Prior to its use, recycled water undergoes four stages of purification to produce a high-quality water that meets or exceeds standards making it safe to reuse. The purification at a water recycling plant is an accelerated and controlled version of what occurs in nature, and can be as good as or even better than the natural process.

In the primary stage of purification, the wastewater entering a water recycling plant is collected in large tanks where settled and float-able materials are removed for further treatment and disposal. The wastewater, which still contains dissolved and upended organic material, continues to the next stage of processing.

In the secondary stage of purification, the wastewater from the primary process is further treated in aeration tanks which contain naturally occurring microbes and enzymes that consume the dissolved and organic material that remains suspended in the water. Air is bubbled through the tanks to supply the microbes with oxygen. Following treatment, settling is used to separate those microbes from the water being treated. This highly treated water is then sent to the final process at the water recycling facility.

In the tertiary stage of purification, filtration and disinfection are conducted. Any remaining suspended solids are removed using specialized granular material or membrane filters. Similar to water plants that produce drinking water, the water in this process is fully disinfected to kill any remaining organisms in this final step of the water recycling process. Following the highly regulated, controlled, and complex purification process, the recycled water is distributed using its own dedicated pipeline system for a wide variety of reuse applications, including landscape irrigation, industrial, manufacturing and groundwater recharge.

The fourth stage occurs in the soil during recharge following purification at the water recycling plant.

Who Monitors the Safety of IEUA's Recycled Water?

IEUA conducts rail, weekly, quarterly, and annual sampling of recycled water based on a sampling schedule as require by regulatory permits, and reports the results to the California Department of Public Health and Regional Water Quality Control Board. Click here to view reports on Recycled Water.

How is Recycled Water Distributed?

Recycled water and potable water lines are kept separate. All pipes to distribute recycled water are colored purple and labeled with the words "Recycled Water - Do Not Drink" for easy recognition. Each site using recycled water must post signs to notify the public of its use.

Can Recycled Water Be Used on Food Crops?

Yes, tertiary treated recycled water is perfectly safe for crop irrigation.

Can You Eat Fish that Have Been Swimming in Recycled Water?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to consume fish that swim in recycled water. Prado Lake, a popular fishing spot in the Chino area, uses IEUA's recycled water.

Is Recycled Water Cost-Effective?

Yes. Recycled water is cost-effective because large amounts of recycled water can be used at a relatively modest cost. Because of economies of scale, a regional water recycling project is more cost-effective than several smaller projects serving the same service area. As reliability and availability of existing local and imported water supplies decreases and the marginal cost of producing additional water increases, water recycling becomes a more cost-effective alternative for supplementing the exiting water supplies.

Why Should My City Use Recycled Water?

Water is in short supply in California. A great deal of the State's developed water supply is transported hundreds of miles from the water-rich area of the north for use in the more populated southern cities. This long-term water import dependency, coupled with all the recent droughts, makes future water supply a vital concern to residents. The need for water is expected to grow, driven by increasing population, need for protection of the San Joaquin Sacramento River Delta, and greater industrialization. Increased conservation efforts will slow but not stop this growth in demand. THE ANSWER IS WATER RECYCLING.

Recycled Water Key Terms

Acre Foot (AF) - Measurement for water qualing 325,851 gallons, or enough water to cover a football field to a depth of one foot. An acre foot of water is enough to supply the water needs of two households for one year.

Recycled Water - Wastewater that, as a result of appropriate treatment, is suitable for subsequent beneficial use.

Potable Water - Water that is suitable for drinking.

Wastewater - Water and wastes discharged from homes, businesses, and industry to the sewer system.

Doing Business with IEUA

What's the difference between "sole source" and "single source?"

A single source procurement is a procurement in which only one source has been solicited usually due to a uniqueness of the service or technology requested. Other sources may be available using slightly different technology. Unless there are compelling reasons to support a single source, these should be avoided due to the perception of impropriety.

Conversely, a sole source procurement is where only one source possesses the unique and singularly available capability to meet the specification requirement and there are no other available sources or substitutions; e.g., replacement OEM parts, etc. This must be justified and backed up with the appropriate documentation.

What's the difference between a Purchase Order, a Blanket Purchase Agreement, a Contract, and an Agreement?

Purchase Orders are used for planned material/supply purchases. Blanket Purchase Agreements are usually established annually for obtaining materials and supplies for: non-inventoried items; emergencies; etc. Contracts are used for any fixed-price or fixed-unit price purchases, large-scale apparatus, or professional services where there may be the exposure of risk/liability to the Agency or special warranty provisions requiring added coverage. Agreements are usually used for multi-party arrangements or specialized services. Agreement pricing could fluctuate based upon predetermined factors; e.g., lease agreements, maintenance agreements, etc.

Can I register for more than one commodity or service?

Yes, a supplier can select as many NIGP commodity or service codes that they are qualified to provide.

How can I find out about current solicitations IEUA has to offer?

Solicitations are listed on the Agency’s website at www.ieua.org, select Departments, select Contract & Procurements and select "Bid Opportunities", as well as in the lobby at the Agency’s Main Office.

How do I obtain bid results and award of a solicitation?

Posting of the bid results and awards are located on IEUA’s website at www.ieua.org, select Departments, select Contract & Procurements and select "Bid Opportunities", as well as in the lobby at the Agency’s Main Office.

What type of insurance is required to do business with IEUA?

This depends on what supplies or services you are providing to IEUA. Public works projects and jobsite services require comprehensive insurance, as required by the Public Contract Code, specific to the risk involved with the work. Consulting services requires comprehensive insurance, including professional liability insurance. Please see the specific solicitation for the required insurance limits.

Human Resources

Where is the Human Resources Department located?

Our address is 6075 Kimball Ave., Chino CA 91708; we’re located inside of Administration Building A.

Can I walk into Human Resources and speak directly to a Human Resources representative?

Yes, however every visitor is required to check in at the front lobby and obtain a visitor’s badge before proceeding to the Human Resources Department.

What if I am interested in a particular position, but I don't see an opening for it. Can I just turn in an application anyway?

No. We accept applications only for positions that are currently open. However, you may fill out the required information in the 'Job Interest Card' section. For the next 12 months after you submit this form, you will receive an email notification each time a position opens with the Agency whose category matches one of the categories you've chosen.

How often are new jobs posted?

There is no set time frame. New jobs are posted as vacancies occur.

What does it mean when a filing deadline is listed as “Open until filled”?

If a job announcement indicates the filing deadline as “Open until filled”, the Agency is accepting applications until the position is filled, and the vacancy may close at anytime without notice.

I missed the deadline - can I still apply?

No. Once a closing date has passed, no application will be accepted or considered. We encourage you to visit the website periodically and apply for new jobs as they become available or fill out the required information in the ‘Job Interest Card’ section.

Will I automatically be considered for other positions if I previously submitted an application?

No. You must submit an application for each position you are interested in.

If I am interested in more than one position, do I need to apply for each position?

Yes. You must apply for each position.

Can I submit a resume without an Agency employment application?

No. The application is required. You can attach your resume or additional information during the application process. Please do not write "see resume" on the application if you choose to submit additional materials. The application must be fully completed.

How do I update the contact information on my job application if I move or change phone numbers?

Contact us at hrdept@ieua.org to update your application.

When will I be notified of my status?

Typically you will receive notification within two to three weeks from the closing date or first review date.

How long does the recruitment process take?

Each recruitment is different and will vary depending on the testing phase(s). On average the process takes several weeks.

I have other questions.

Please send an email to hrdept@ieua.org. We typically respond within one business day.

I forgot my username/password, what do I do now?

To help with username/password retrieval, please watch this video.

Automatic Water Softener

What is a self-regenerating water softener?

Self-regenerating water softeners are water softening systems to which you or a service provider adds salt (sodium or potassium chloride pellets). Water softeners that include a regular service to change out the tank on your conditioners are not considered harmful.

What is the difference between a water softener and a water conditioner?

A water conditioner refers the broad scope of water treatment to suit a particular usage requirement whereas a water softener is a form of water softening that uses ion exchange technology to specifically remove Calcium and Magnesium.

Why should I remove my self-regenerating water softener?

Automatic water softeners, the type to which you add salt (sodium chloride or potassium chloride), produce a salty discharge measured as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). If levels of TDS become too high the recycled water quality fails to meet the requirements for recycled water established by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for beneficial uses.

What are Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)?

TDS is a measure of the amount of dissolved salts and other minerals in water. In the Inland Empire, after water is used in homes and goes down the drain, the wastewater ends up in the sewer system. From there it flows to one of four water recycling plants. Even though these facilities provide a high level of treatment and remove many impurities and pollutants from the wastewater, they are not designed to remove TDS.

How do Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) levels affect recycled water?

Recycled water is our most sustainable and drought-proof water supply. Recycled water provides a safe, cost-effective and reliable supply of high quality water. By using recycled water for specific purposes, IEUA helps our community preserve limited water supplies for drinking water and other household uses. The largest constraint on groundwater and recycled water supplies is the amount of salt in the water: self-regenerating water softeners discharge about one pound of salt per day into the regional sewer. If this does not stop, it will result in additional treatment costs and could significantly increase your sewer bills. For more information about IEUA’s recycled water program, please visit our recycled water department.

Will I save water if I remove my automatic water softener?

Yes. By removing your self-regenerating water softener you can save up to 5000 gallons per year depending on the water quality, age and type of self-regenerating water softener you own.

What type of rebate is offered if I remove my self-regenerating water softener?

To encourage you to remove your automatic water softeners, the IEUA is offering you 100 percent of the reasonable value (between $300-$2,000), plus free removal and disposal. The water softener must be connected and in working condition to qualify for the rebate. If you live in the IEUA service area* you can submit an application form with proof of purchase and the IEUA will send you a letter stating the rebate offer based on the purchase price, make, model, and age of the unit.
*The IEUA serves the Cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Upland and to the Cucamonga Valley Water District, Fontana Water Company, Monte Vista Water District, and the San Antonio Water Company.

How can I obtain proof of purchase for my self-regenerating water softener if I do not have a receipt?

Proof of purchase may be obtained by calling records departments for many of the big box stores such as Home Depot, Lowes and Costco. Companies that install self-regenerating water softeners, such as Culligan, GE, Kenmore (Sears), and Rayne, will also be able to provide you with receipts and purchase information. Credit card companies can also provide back-statements that would include purchase prices.
Without proof of purchase, you can still receive a $300 rebate if the self-regenerating water softener is connected and in working condition.

What options and alternatives are available once I remove my softener?

You can switch to an alternative means of water conditioning, such as an exchange tank water softening system. Some vendors offer non-salt treatment units for water conditioning.
The Sanitation District of Los Angeles County (LACSD) offers a listing of more than 50 alternative water conditioning systems. The site includes reviews from community members on the various products and services. The IEUA does not endorse any particular water conditioning unit, or provide any assurances regarding the effectiveness of any unit.

Who is the IEUA and how can I contact them for more information?

IEUA is a municipal water district that distributes imported water, provides industrial/municipal wastewater collection and treatment services, and other related utility services to the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario and Upland, as well as to the Cucamonga Valley Water District, Fontana Water Company, Monte Vista Water District, and the San Antonio Water Company.
If you have any further questions about the self-regenerating water softener rebate program or want more information about recycled water, you may call the IEUA at 909-993-1550 or email at softenerrebate@ieua.org.

Pretreatment & Source Control

Do I need an Industrial Wastewater Discharge permit?

Any Person/User whose industrial processes produce wastewater requires a wastewater discharge permit. If the industry is a zero discharger (produces no wastewater), annual certification of compliance as zero discharger is required.

What are the steps to obtain an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit?

Before applying for an industrial wastewater discharge permit, the Person/User must obtain the wastewater discharge right in the form of Capacity Units (CU). The CU are different for each system.

How do I acquire Capacity Unit?

CU for the Etiwanda Wastewater Line (EWL) and Inland Empire Brine Line (IEBL) systems is defined as 15 instantaneous gallons per minute. The Person/User must acquire enough CU to accommodate their peak flows rounded up to the nearest multiple of 15. The cost for each CU is set in the Wastewater Disposal Rates Resolutions.
CU for the Non-Reclaimable Wastewater System (North NRWS) is defined by the following equation:
CApacity Unit
Where gpd = gallons per day; ppd = pounds per day
The Person/User must acquire enough NRWS CU to meet their wastewater discharge. For the NRWSCU, the Person/User can either purchase upfront or lease annually. The cost for each NRWS CU is set in the Wastewater Disposal Rates Resolutions.

How do I determine what type of permit I need to apply for?

In the Agency’s service area, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is used primarily to determine the sewerage system that can receive the industrial wastewater. Regional Permit if TDS is less than or equal to 550 mg/L. All others, Non-Reclaimable Wastewater (NRW system) permit. Please see the Permit Application flowchart for guidance.

Are CU transferable?

No. Please see the current ordinances for more details.

Who do I contact?

Please direct questions or comments concerning the use of the NRWS or Regional Sewage System to Pretreatment & Source Control (909) 993-1600.

Visit the WATER SOURCES PRETREATMENT & SOURCE CONTROL page. Permit types are based on TDS limits, location, and amount of discharge.

Please see the Permit Application Flowchart to determine the appropriate path to obtain an industrial wastewater discharge permit.