Heber History

Community History

The community of Heber had its origins with the construction of the Imperial Valley branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad during the early 1900's. The Imperial Land Company, working under the direction of the California Development Company, elected to honor company President A.H. Heber by naming the community after him in 1903.

The anticipated construction of the San Diego Yuma railroad, which was expected to pass through Heber, spurred local development for the next five years.

In 1908, however, Heber's initially rapid growth slowed considerably as the nearby community at El Centro gained importance as a regional center. Although Heber has at times been a busy trading center, competition from El Centro has seriously hindered any further rapid expansion.

Heber's continued existence, as well as the existence of most of Imperial County's other communities has been based on the importance of agriculture and its reliance on irrigation.

District's History

The Heber Public Utility District (HPUD) was formed in 1931 under the Public Utility Act of 1921. HPUD was given the authority to function as a legal entity with powers similar to those of a city administrative body.

You can view and download historic documents like:

Imperial County Ordinaces 92 & 93 filed July 6,1931
Petition to the Imperial County for the Heber Public Utility District


Heber, an unincorporated community of approximately nine square-mile area located 224 miles southeast of Los Angeles, 675 miles southeast of San Francisco, 117 miles east of San Diego, 240 miles west of Phoenix, and 6 miles north of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.


From 1990 to 2000, The Heber town site population increased from 2,566 persons to 2988 persons, per U.S. Census Bureau. From 2000 to 2005 the population increased from 2,988 to 3,508 and from 2005 to 2009 the calculated population is 6,000 persons (1,500 residential services x 4 average persons per dwelling unit (per the County of Imperial Planning Department)


Raw water used by HPUD is supplied by the Central Main Canal via the Dogwood Canal, both of which are under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Irrigation District IID. This water has its origin in Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam in Nevada. The water is drawn from the canal, treated, used by the community and then re-treated in HPUD sewage treatment plant, and finally disposed of via agricultural drainage canals to the Salton Sea.

Prior to 1972, when the 1st water treatment plant was completed, raw canal water was chlorinated by HPUD as a major part of the potable treatment process.

First Sewage Treatment

Prior to 1968, sewage treatment needs in Heber were met through the use of septic tanks. Heber first sewage treatment plant was completed in 1968 with a design capacity of 150,000 gallons per day.
In 1981 a new sewage treatment plant was built which more than doubled the previous treatment plant operating capacity.

Geothermal Resource Area

Heber is located within the Heber known Geothermal Resource Area. Additional Information at Geothermal Energy Association