Santee, Calif. — Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors approved an interagency agreement with Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego to study the feasibility of developing an expanded East County Advanced Water Purification Program. The study will be conducted by Padre Dam with assistance from Kennedy/Jenks Consultants.
The study will focus on the possibility of expanding Padre Dam’s Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility and proposed Advanced Water Purification Project to accommodate and treat wastewater from the other agencies’ service areas in order to provide a recycled water supply for local and regional groundwater recharge, reservoir augmentation and other potable reuse opportunities.
“With California’s ongoing drought and the cost of imported water continuing to rise, this is an exciting step in the possibility of diversifying East County’s water supply,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and general manager of Padre Dam
Approximately 16 million gallons per day (mgd) of wastewater is currently generated in the study area with only 2 mgd of this flow treated for water reuse. The 14 mgd of wastewater not treated for reuse travels approximately 20 miles to the City of San Diego’s wastewater treatment plant where it is treated and then discharged into the ocean.
This study will explore the possibility of expanding Padre Dam’s water treatment capacity including its Advanced Water Purification Project to treat the wastewater otherwise being discharged into the ocean to generate a new reliable and local water supply of approximately 10 mgd for potable reuse.
The estimated cost of the study is $275,000. The four agencies will each pay $50,000 with the remaining $75,000 to be paid with a Water Recycling Facilities Planning Grant from the California State Water Resources Control Board.
Padre Dam’s Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project will begin construction this fall. The demonstration project will take recycled water through four advanced water treatment steps and will be tested daily to ensure it meets the Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board’s stringent public health objectives.
“If the Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project is successful and the study proves that Padre Dam can accommodate the additional wastewater, then Helix Water District, the City of El Cajon and parts of the County of San Diego will have a new source of water that is safe, reliable, locally controlled and drought-proof,” added Carlisle.