Water Facilities and Infrastructure

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The Water Division manages and operates the City’s water system, delivering drinking water to more than 142,200 urban residential, commercial, and industrial customers over 114 square miles of the city and many county islands within the City’s service area.

The Division operates and maintains three surface water treatment facilities, 271 groundwater wells, and 1,897 miles of water mains ranging from 4 inches to 66 inches in diameter.

Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility

The Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility (NESWTF) is located in Northeast Fresno.  Commissioned in 2004 and constructed for a treatment capacity of 30 million gallons per day (mgd), the NESWTF was the City’s first surface water treatment facility. 

The water delivered to the NESWTF originates from Millerton Lake and is conveyed to the facility through the City’s Friant-Kern Canal Pipeline. Construction of this 4.5-mile pipeline was completed in 2018. Water is gravity fed, meaning there is no pumping involved, which represents a significant savings in equipment and energy for water customers. Once at the facility, the water is treated to meet or exceed drinking water standards. The water is then pumped into the distribution system and delivered to customers.


Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility

The Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility (SESWTF) is the Water Division’s newest facility.  Commissioned in 2018, the SESWTF is located on a 58-acre property southeast of the City of Fresno in Fresno County. 

The water delivered to the SESWTF originates from the Kings River and is conveyed to the facility through the City’s Kings River Pipeline which is gravity fed through a 13.5-mile pipeline.  Once at the facility, the water is treated to meet or exceed drinking water standards.  The water is then pumped to the distribution system at a rate up to 69,000 gallons per minute during peak demands.

The SESWTF is currently permitted to deliver 54 million gallons of water per day (mgd) but has the capacity to treat up to 80 mgd in the future.,

T-3 Surface Water Treatment Facility & Water Storage Tank

The City commenced operations of its T-3 Water Storage Tank and modular Surface Water Treatment Facility in 2015.  Located in East Central Fresno, the facility receives water from the Kings River via the Enterprise Canal.  The facility is permitted for the treatment of up to 4 million gallons of water per day (mgd).


Pump Stations (Wells)

The City operates 271 metered groundwater wells throughout Fresno.  These wells provided 100% of the potable water to City of Fresno residents until 2004 when treated surface water was introduced into our system.  The conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater has allowed groundwater pumping activities to ease, allowing the underground aquifer to begin to recover.  The City continues to maintain wells and pumping equipment to ensure adequate water pressure for public health and safety, including fire protection supply.

Recharge Facilities

Recharge occurs as water percolates from water basins through layers of soils in the earth to the underground aquifer, which ranges from eighty feet to hundreds of feet below ground surface.  As the water percolates, it is naturally filtered by the soil and replenishes, or “recharges,” the aquifer. 

The Leaky Acres Recharge Facility has been operating since 1973, delivering surface water from the Kings River received through Fresno Irrigation District’s canal systems to the underground aquifer.  Leaky Acres has been recharging anywhere between 5,000 to 30,000 Acre Feet (AF) per year, depending on the available surface water deliveries that are shared with the public water supply, agriculture uses, and other recharge basins operated by the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.

In 2017, the Water Division added another recharge facility called the Nielsen Basin.  Together, Leaky Acres and Nielsen Basin encompass 304 acres of permeable soils to accomplish the goal of replenishing the aquifer beneath our feet to ensure water sustainability for years to come.


Water Distribution System

When water is pumped up from the aquifer or treated at the surface water treatment facility, it is distributed through a transmission grid main system to individual customers. The water distribution system consists of a vast network of water mains, water service connections, fire hydrants, valves, and water meters that deliver potable water to the houses and businesses within the City’s water service boundary.  The water distribution system includes:

  • 1,897 miles of distribution pipeline
  • 162,864 service connections/water meters
  • 13,865 fire hydrants
  • 271 pump stations (wells)
  • 3 booster pump stations
  • 3 water storage tanks
  • 21,434 isolation valves