East County Advanced Water Purification Partners Named “Recycled Water Agency of the Year”
Santee, CA – Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego were honored with being named “Recycled Water Agency of the Year” – medium agency category – from the WateReuse California Section and the WateReuse California Board for their work on the East County Advanced Water Purification Program. The award was presented at the WateReuse California Annual Conference on Monday, March 20 in San Diego.
“The four-agency partnership on this program has made a significant impact towards advancing water reuse and creating a new source of water by purifying East County’s recycled water,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and General Manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “Using state-of-the-art technology to purify East County’s recycled water, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, reliable and sustainable drinking water supply. The end product is water so clean that it is near-distilled in quality.”
Padre Dam imports 100% of its potable water supply and Helix imports approximately 90% of its potable water supply. The Advanced Water Purification Program will diversify East County’s water supply and reduce its dependence on imported water by locally producing up to 30 percent of the drinking water for residents in the Padre Dam Municipal Water District and Helix Water District water service areas.
“Having a locally-controlled water supply is good for residents and business owners — and it is a huge accomplishment for all the local agencies that are teaming up to make it happen,” said County Board Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “A balanced water resources portfolio is not easy to achieve, but by working together we are demonstrating that collaboration is the key to achieving cost-effective, beneficial projects that are a win for everyone.”
The medium category for the Agency of the Year Award is for beneficial reuse projects creating between 1,000 and 5,000 acre-feet per year. The award was presented to the program based on critical milestones achieved in 2016 to support the successful implementation of the program. The unique project elements included:
- Developing a regional solution for creating new, local, sustainable, drought-proof, and environmentally sound drinking water supply.
- Completing a collaborative Program Planning Study to evaluate the project’s engineering and economic feasibility.
- Testing an innovative approach aimed to explore ways to maximize purified water production in a cost effective manner.
- Receiving critical feedback and support from an Independent Advisory Panel.
- Providing outreach, education, and tours to the community, including the public, media and elected officials.
“We are using a combination of innovative technologies, community outreach and leadership to pave the way for successful implementation of the Advanced Water Purification Program in East County,” added Carlisle. “The collaborative partnership is good governance and is serving as a model for sustainable water supply projects for other agencies throughout the state and the nation.”
About WateReuse Association
The WateReuse Association is a not-for-profit trade association for water utilities, businesses, industrial and commercial enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and associations. Its members represent more than 200 communities and 60 million utility customers around the country. The mission of the WateReuse Association is to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of water reuse and to advocate for laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse.
About Padre Dam
Padre Dam provides water, sewer, recycled water and recreation services to approximately 100,000 residents in East San Diego County including Santee, El Cajon, Lakeside, Flinn Springs, Harbison Canyon, Blossom Valley, Alpine, Dehesa and Crest. The District currently imports 100% of its drinking water supply and treats two million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater at its Water Recycling Facility. Please visit www.padredam.org for more information.