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Enchanted Heights Project: Revitalizing a Perris Community.
The City of Perris and its partners at the county, regional, and state level have embarked on a massive sewer project to improve the lives of Enchanted Heights residents and increase their property values.

  • The Project: A three-year, $15 million sewer installation program that will replace existing septic tanks in the 446-home Enchanted Heights community, half which lies in the city of Perris and half in unincorporated Riverside County. 
  • Time Frame: The groundbreaking on the Enchanted Heights project took place on August 25, 2011.  Project planners estimate the project will be completed in 30 to 36 months. 
  • Benefits: The $15 million dollar sewer system will eliminate the run off from the failing septic tanks which pose possible public health hazards to the residents.
  • “The City of Perris did an outstanding job reaching
    out to the community and its program
    is a model for other agencies to follow.”
    - Senator Bill Emmerson
      37th District
  • The Enchanted Heights Sewer Project has vastly
    improved the lives of the residents of
    Enchanted Heights.
    - Paul Cook, Assemblyman
      65th District
  • This project will eliminate sewage run off
    during storms and will thus protect public health and
    enhance protection of groundwater and the environment.
    Leah Walker, PE
    Chief, Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management, California Department of Public Health
  • I truly believe that the Enchanted Heights Sewer Project
    Outreach program is a model for other agencies.
    Frances Spivy-Weber
    Vice President, State Water Resources Control Board

About the Project

The City of Perris and its partners at the county, regional and state level have embarked on a building a sewer project which will improve the lives of Enchanted Heights residents and increase their property values. The community of Enchanted Heights is located on the western edge of the city and has experienced conditions which include failing septic tanks which spew raw sewage and spill on to the streets.  It is not unusual to see children picking their way through sewage on their way to school.

The community of Enchanted Heights was built in the early 1970’s as a retirement community.  The homes were originally designed to house one or two persons.  Over time, families moved into the community creating a greater impact on the septic tanks.

For many years, the City of Perris sought a solution to the problem to no avail.  In 2010, the opportunity arose to pursue funding which would allow a mainline sewer system to be built with a grant from the California Department of Public Health. The city then partnered with the County of Riverside and Eastern Municipal Water District to pursue the opportunity. The California Department of Public Health awarded the partners a grant for $10 million.  Because of the disadvantaged status of the community, the partners then sought a $5 million grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to fund the onsite work as well as pay for the connection fees.  With the funding secured, the city moved forward with building the sewer system. 

The city realized early on that public education and outreach was a critical factor in ensuring the success of the project. The city launched a multimedia campaign which included Public Service Announcements in both Spanish and English, formal community meetings at the local elementary school, one on one conversations with the residents of Enchanted Heights, a bilingual media campaign and a dedicated bilingual webpage on the City’s website. The residents of Enchanted eagerly embraced the sewer project and directly engaged in the outreach efforts.  The children of Enchanted Heights also begin to take notice of the outreach campaign.  It was not unusual to see them also engage in the outreach process.  The children began to pass out flyers in the neighborhood.  Those same children also explained to their Spanish-speaking parents how the City of Perris and its partners planned to improve the quality of life in their community and encouraged them to support the project. 

The project broke ground on August 22, 2011, and is now well underway.  It is expected to be completed in late 2013.  The City’s signature-gathering and public outreach efforts resulted in the project being constructed without cost to the residents of Enchanted Heights.  Upon completion of the sewer system, the community will no longer have contaminated run-off in the streets and fields.  Finally, the City has set out to share the lessons learned by this project.  It has conducted informational sessions and workshops at various events including the 2011 WEFTEC conference which was held in Los Angeles.  The City of Perris is committed to ensuring that public outreach will always take center stage in everything they do.  



Resident pointing out problem to official.


Photo of flooded home


Enchanted Heights



You can read articles about the Enchanted Heights Project in local news outlets and on the City website.  

City of Perris Press Releases
Select a title to view the story:

10/01/12 Perris Receives Helen Putnam Award for Enchanted Heights Outreach
09/26/12 Kids are Key to Enchanted Heights Outreach Success
08/13/12 Exchange Students Tour Enchanted Heights Sewer Project
07/26/12 Enchanted Heights Project Nears Final Phase
05/14/12 Enchanted Heights Outreach Wins Award of Excellence
04/03/12 City Expands Enchanted Heights Spanish Language Outreach
03/27/12 Enchanted Heights Construction is Ahead of Schedule
02/01/12 Enchanted Heights Construction is Underway and Ahead of Schedule
01/17/12 Enchanted Heights Meeting Outlines Next Phase of Construction
01/05/12 Enchanted Heights Community Outreach Enters Next Phase
08/22/11 Enchanted Heights Project Breaks Ground | See photos on Facebook
07/19/11 Enchanted Heights Outreach Produces Spanish Language Video
06/29/11 Enchanted Heights Outreach Featured at Conference
06/15/11 Enchanted Heights Outreach Goes Online and on TV
04/26/11 Meeting Details Enchanted Heights Sewer Project
04/18/11 Perris to Host Enchanted Heights Outreach
03/31/11 Enchanted Heights Outreach Continues
03/21/11 Enchanted Heights Sewer Project Outreach in Full Swing

Published Articles


La Prensa

Press Enterprise

Perris Progress





  • Award for Organizational Excellence for Public Outreach to Disadvantaged Communities; Municipal Management Association of Southern California Award

Media Contacts

The Enchanted Heights Sewer Project has received significant press attention. 

Members of the media, feel free to call the contacts below if you have any questions. 



DAC Conference


Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcement — Spanish

Project Contacts

Please call the contacts below if you have any questions.