Groundwater Quality Protection and Assessment Districts

Making progress graphic - drop of water and stats

The Mission Springs Water District Groundwater Quality Protection Project is a comprehensive water resource management effort that:

  1. Eliminates known pollution sources.
  2. Reclaims water to reduce demand on limited groundwater resources.
  3. Protects underground storage capacity.
  4. Leverages multiple funding opportunities.

The Groundwater Quality Protection Project overlies a region where high-quality, potable water is delivered, but not treated for direct reuse. Expansion of the sewer system and regional wastewater treatment plant will reclaim water to reduce groundwater demand and protect underground storage capacity – providing a sustainable water future for generations to come.

How do I know if my home is in an Assessment District

Visit our public Geoviewer and input your address and or parcel number to determine if you are in an MSWD assessment district. 

I am a homeowner and need a copy of the Notice of Assessment, who do I contact?

For a copy of your Notice of Assessment filed with the County of Riverside, please contact our Accounting Department at 760-329-6448, ext 118. 

I am an escrow agent and need a lien payoff, who do I contact?

Please contact MSWD's Customer Service Department at 760-329-6448 or by email at customerservice [at] 

One my street has been sewered, how long do I have to connect?

Once sewer is available in your area, homeowners have 90-days to apply for sewer, abandon their septic tank, and connect to the sewer lateral. The District offers financial assistance programs to help you with this process. If for some reason you are unable to connect within the 90-day requirement, we can provide an extension; however, you should contact the District to discuss options and programs available to help you connect. Please contact the District at 760-329-5169 ext. 131 or 149 more information. 

What criteria does MSWD use when deciding, which areas get sewer first?

In 1998, MSWD established three areas of consideration in establishing the alphabetical ranking (priority) sequence in which sewer projects would proceed. Their three areas of consideration were:

1) Concentration of septic tanks near potable wells

2. Septic tank failures in each area

3. Proximity to currently sewered areas

With new sewer construction projects on the horizon in 2006, District staff revisited the original priority criteria expanding the original criteria to include the following: 

1) Demographic concerns 

2) Economic feasibility for the District 

3) Density of homes

4) Total parcels 

5) Hot Water Zone 

6) Development levels of the area

7) Septic tank failures in the area

8) Proximity to current sewered areas 

9) concentration of sewer tanks near wells

10) Additional weight for design or installation of facilities costs 

Staff has made numerous public meeting presentations regarding the priority list, including a joint presentation to the City Council and our Board in recent years. Of course,  everyone wants their area completed first; however, the criteria evaluation provides the District with a fair and equitable method for assigning the sequence, unfettered by bias, influence, or preference.

What is a "Notice of Assessment" and why is there one attached to my property?

After an Assessment District has been approved by voters, MSWD files what is known as a "Notice of Assessment" on all homes/parcels within the AD with Riverside County so that potential buyers understand that at some point, when we are ready to construct the sewer lines on that street, they will be responsible for the cost of construction.

After the Notice of Assessment is filed, there is no lien to release or pay, this is simply a notice for the future. Once construction is complete, we will communicate with the property owner on file, and at that point, we will alert them of the sewer assessment. They can then pay the amount in full or let it go onto their property taxes with a 20-year payoff schedule.

What is an Assessment District and how are they legal?

Assessment Districts are a financing/purchasing tool used to guarantee a loan.  Typically, they are used to divide the cost of large public infrastructure projects between numerous recipients who receive benefits from those projects. 

In 1978 Californians enacted Proposition 13, which limited the ability of local public agencies to increase property taxes based on a property’s assessed value. Since that time, Assessment Districts, which have been in existence since the early 1900’s, have been used on a widespread basis as an alternative method for financing public improvements. Currently, about one in three properties in California is part of an Assessment District

Who do I contact for more information related to Assessment Districts?

For more information related to Assessment Districts, please contact MSWD's Public Affairs team at 760-329-6448 ext. 145 or email us at pr [at]

Why is sewer important?

Expansion of the sewer system saves money and protects our aquifer, our only source of drinking water. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the cleanup of contaminated groundwater is 10 to 100 times the cost of prevention. 

View All FAQ's