Sterling Natural Resource Center (photo by Anaergia)

East Valley Water District Opens Sterling Natural Resource Center to Recycle Water

New water recycling facility will treat 8 MGD for groundwater recharge
By EVWD, Members in the News, Wastewater News

East Valley Water District held a community ribbon cutting to officially open the Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) and celebrate the completion of the new community facility. Over 1,300 people enjoyed the event activities, which included a free community concert, food truck vendors, and facility tours.

“East Valley Water District made a commitment to the community to become a world-class organization and the Sterling Natural Resource Center is the fulfillment of this promise,” said Phillip Goodrich, Chairman of the Board. “Even during times of drought, the Sterling Natural Resource Center will provide a secure supply of water to help replenish the local groundwater, contributing to the region’s water infrastructure.”

The Sterling Natural Resource Center will use membrane bioreactors to reduce the overall wastewater treatment footprint, along with extensive state-of-the-art vessel systems that will “scrub” the air to remove odor from the facility. This will enable the facility to be a good neighbor to the community, while providing outdoor green spaces, picnic areas, and an indoor community center for conservation workshops and special events.

East Valley Water District raises the flag and holds the ribbon cutting ceremony. (EVWD)

“The Sterling Natural Resource Center not only exemplifies a state-of-the-art design but has been created to develop a new space for the community to gather,” said John Mura, General Manager/CEO. “This project has become a model for public projects around the world where a highly technical facility incorporates a community centric focus in the design.”

The western portion of the Sterling Natural Resource Center is now open for the public to enjoy during regular business hours. It also houses new customer service center for East Valley Water District customers to use as a resource for all their water related questions. Moving forward, the District will partner with community organizations to host events and activities for residents to enjoy. Testing and commissioning for the wastewater treatment processes is underway, with groundwater replenishment beginning in early 2023.

“The Sterling Natural Resource Center has been made possible through a team of exceptional professionals committed to safely designing and constructing a facility that can serve as an example of how projects can provide the maximum community benefit,” said Brian Cahill, Division President- California, Balfour Beatty Construction.

Team Sterling is led by East Valley Water District working closely with Balfour Beatty Construction, leading the construction as the Design-Build Entity; Arcadis, Project Engineer; Ruhnau Clarke Architects, Project Architect; and Anaergia, Inc, Project Co-digestion Lead, along with many other companies and hundreds of talented individuals.

Ribbon cutting (photo by Anaergia)

The Sterling Natural Resource Center is a $230 million project funded by a variety of sources. Low interest loans, grants, and regional infrastructure partnerships have been provided in full or in part by the Proposition 1 – the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Urban Greening Grant, and San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District- Regional Recycled Water Program.

East Valley Water District was formed in 1954 and provides water and wastewater services to over 104,000 residents within the City of Highland and portions of both the City and County of San Bernardino. EVWD operates under the direction of a 5-member elected Board.

Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) is a state-of-the-art facility in Highland, California, that will treat wastewater generated within East Valley Water District’s service area producing a sustainable new water supply to boost the region’s water independence. Capable of treating up to 8 million gallons a day, the SNRC will recharge the local Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin.

The SNRC will create new opportunities for the surrounding community in the form of outdoor space with picnic and walking paths, provide a drought-proof water supply, provide street improvements, and create new educational and training programs.

To learn more, visit