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Wastewater Facility Brings Obama Official to Coachella

Jessica Flores

Wastewater Facility Brings Obama Official to Coachella

CREATED Apr. 17, 2012

COACHELLA-- An Obama administration official joined Coachella city officials to tour a new wastewater facility in the city, partly funded by a $3 million loan from the USDA.

"We are excited. This isn't the first time we come out here but it's certainly the first time we have a visitor all the way from the President's office and the USDA federal government," said Mayor Eduardo Garcia.

The new sewage facility, like any other, is smelly and dirty, but it's helping clean up Coachella's act.

"There was very serious environmental problems with the plant before. It was at capacity. It wasn't operating efficiently," said USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, who also said the water waste was going into the Salton Sea and causing environmental problems.

The city has a history of gripes over its water management. Residents have poured in complaints over water rates and water quality.

"When the residents ask where their tax dollars are being invested in, I think it very clear [it's] in these types of projects that are important to the public health and well being of our residents. This is a perfect example of that type of project," said Garcia.

The money helped fund construction for sludge water beds. The waste from water goes into the open air beds, and then the sun dries it out. Solids are left behind and can be reused on farmland.

The recovery act is helping finance this project. It's one of 800 projects nationwide.

"When the economy rebounds and people are ready to invest and build, the city of Coachella will be prepared," said Garcia.

The city is prepared now to keep their sewage system afloat.

-Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.