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How Replenish Big Bear creates a new clean water resource

Recovering our lost water

Recycled water is an underutilized resource with an abundance of untapped potential! Sometimes referred to as water reuse, recycled water is a local and consistent supply that supplements existing water supplies even during dry years and offers a reliable water source to communities.


Millions of gallons of water leave the valley each year as wastewater. Replenish Big Bear captures this lost water source, treats it using proven advanced water treatment methods, and returns clean, recycled water back to our environment— providing Big Bear with a sustainable water supply.

Why use recycled water?
Cost effective
Reusing water can be more cost effective than developing alternative supplies.
Reusing water alleviates pressure on freshwater sources, like groundwater.
Water is treated to meet stringent state and federal water quality standards.
Did you know?

Each day



For more than

1 billion gallons

of treated wastewater is recycled in the United States


of the water that goes down a home's drain has the potential to be reused


100 years

of Earth's water is fresh water

California has been reusing and recycling water

Treatment process

A proven water treatment process

Several additional treatment steps to Big Bear’s existing treatment process will use proven technology to achieve safe, high quality water that exceeds drinking water quality standards.


The sand filter is a 2-stage filtration process that removes nitrogen and phosphorus using a sand media with chemical addition.

Ultrafiltration Membranes

Ultrafiltration membranes are made of bundles of hollow membrane fibers with pore sizes so small that bacteria and virus cannot pass through.

Reverse Osmosis Membranes

Reverse osmosis membranes allow water through a semi-permeable membrane using high pressure pumping. Dissolved constituents such as salts, nutrients, and metals are rejected as brine and the filtered water is essentially free of bacteria, viruses, and dissolved contaminants.

Ultraviolet Disinfection

Ultraviolet Disinfection-Advanced Oxidation Process (UV-AOP) uses UV light and an oxidant to form oxidizing radicals which are capable of breaking bonds of harmful contaminants. 


Sand Filter

Proposed infrastructure upgrades

Federal and state funding is being pursued to make the necessary improvements to provide Big Bear Valley with a reliable, high quality water source. Proposed infrastructure improvements include:



A new advanced water purification facility will be constructed to produce purified water that will exceed drinking water standards.




A new pump station will be constructed to deliver water to Shay Pond (future option) and Stanfield Marsh. A second pump station will be constructed to convey Program Water to Sand Canyon.

Pipeline-white border.jpg


New pipeline and extensions to existing pipeline will be constructed to deliver water to Shay Pond (future option), Stanfield Marsh, and Sand Canyon. 

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