Construction for the Sterling Natural Resource Center officially began on October 2018. The Administrative Center was completed in 2022 and the Treatment Facility began operations in January 2024.
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The Sterling Natural Resource Center is a wastewater treatment facility that will be located in the City of Highland by East Valley Water District to treat wastewater generated within East Valley Water District’s service area. The new treatment facility would produce disinfected tertiary recycled water (Title 22 water quality for unrestricted use). The treated water would be discharged to replenish the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin.
Reclaimed water or recycled water, is wastewater (sewage) that is treated to remove solids and certain impurities, and used in many settings for sustainable landscaping irrigation or to recharge groundwater aquifers. The purpose of these processes is sustainability and water conservation, rather than discharging the treated water to surface waters such as rivers and oceans. The Sterling Natural Resource Center is a reclamation facility which will be used to replenish the local groundwater basin.
In an effort to select a name that represented the long history of the region and the resource the facility will be, the team looked to the past. The Sterling Natural Resource Center is named after A.E. Sterling, a local visionary and active valley leader.In addition, one definition of sterling is: "of the highest quality."
The SNRC was constructed on a 20-acre parcel of land located at North Del Rosa Drive between East 5th Street and East 6th Street. The Treatment Facility is located on the eastern property while the Administration Center is located on the western parcel. The collection/conveyance pipelines would be constructed along the existing rights of way.
The SNRC intends to be a community asset and a good neighbor. The SNRC facility includes:
The SNRC will use Membrane BioReactors, which is a process that combines filtration with biological treatment to reduce the amount of space needed to operate the facility. Therefore, allowing for the reclamation process to be completely self-contained.
As part of the SNRC’s commitment to being a good neighbor, the project’s design includes extensive state-of-the-art vessel systems to help prevent unwanted odors. These systems will “scrub” the air so that there is no noticeable odor coming from the facility. Water produced by the SNRC will be cleaned and disinfected through multiple processes. Additionally, recycled water is clear and has no smell.
The SNRC incorporated state-of-the-art digesters to turn 130,000 gallons per day of organic waste into 3 megawatts of renewable energy. East Valley Water District will import the material from local waste processors, due to the high concentration of material needed. At this time, there will be no acceptance of local drop-offs of household organic waste.