Your Water

For over 50 years, the Santa Margarita Water District had been delivering safe drinkinWater Valve Can (5)g water, reliably collecting wastewater, and managing innovative recycled water projects to over 160,000 residents in southern Orange County. Currently, the District services the eastern portion of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Wagon Wheel, Las Flores, Talega, Ladera Ranch, and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The District's mission statement strives to "...provide our customers with quality water and wastewater service – maximizing human, environmental, and financial resources – to help guide South Orange County’s water and wastewater needs into the next century." As part of of this goal, the District is currently focused on three major goals:

1. The District will have 10,000-14,000 AF of alternative water supply by 2030.

Currently, the District is almost entirely reliant on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for its water supply.  In order to provide more reliability, the District is seeking an alternative water supply to be developed by 2030. Currently the San Juan Watershed Project is the best alternative supply available due to the proximity to the District and the potential for developing a local watershed to be utilized by the region as a whole.

2. The District will have 6 months of storage by 2030.

Santa Margarita Water District has a storage capacity of almost 340 million gallons of drinking water which represents one of the largest storage capacities in Orange County. However the District typically brings in 7 billion gallons of drinking water per year. To provide additional security against a long-term service interruption, the District is working with regional partners to develop regional water storage solutions.

3. The District will recycle 100% of its wastewater by 2019.

The District has one of the largest recycled water programs in Orange County. This has been achieved by innovative urban return projects as well as operating three wastewater reclamation plants. These plants are not only capable of treating the wastewater to the secondary treatment necessary to discharge to the ocean, but can apply tertiary treatment which allows the water to be utilized in the District's recycled water system. During the winter months, more wastewater is generated than recycled water is needed which results in the District discharging the excess to the ocean. In 2017, the Board approved the construction of Trampas Canyon Reservoir which will add a 5,000 acre foot (1.6 trillion gallons) reservoir to the District's recycled water storage capacity. The construction of this reservoir will allow the District to treat 100% of its wastewater and achieve one of its long-term goals.

District Statistics

The District provides drinking water, recycled water, and wastewater service to over 160,000 residents by maintaining:
  • 600+ miles of drinking water pipelines
  • 34 drinking water reservoirs capable of holding 340 million gallons
  • 21 drinking water pump stations 
  • 130+ miles of recycled water pipelines
  • 10 recycled water reservoirs capable of holding 1.5 billion gallons
  • 14 recycled water pump stations
  • 600+ miles of wastewater pipelines
  • 21 wastewater lift stations
  • 3 treatment plants operating capable of treating 9 million gallons of wastewater per day