For Immediate Release
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East County Advanced Water Purification Program Progresses with Partner Agencies Approving Interim Funding Agreement
Partner Agencies Commit $9.4 Million to Continue Funding Program to Develop New, Reliable, Locally Controlled and Drought-Proof Drinking Water Supply
July 10, 2019 – San Diego, CA – Today, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program progressed closer to completion with the program’s partner agencies – Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon, Helix Water District and the County of San Diego – approving an Interim Funding Agreement (IFA). The IFA will ensure that the program can move forward with funding for the next year. The IFA states each agency will commit $2.35 million ($9.4 million total) towards the program that aims to create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water.
Once complete, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program will generate up to 11.5 million gallons per day of new drinking water, which is approximately 30 percent of current drinking water demands for residents in the Padre Dam and Helix service areas. Four advanced water purification steps will produce water that is near-distilled in quality. The purified water will then be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.
“Today marks an important milestone toward the completion of this innovative and much-needed program,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and general manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “Working together with our partners, we are moving one step closer to reducing our dependence on imported water and putting the mechanisms in place to support our economy and quality of life well into the future.”
Next steps for the project include forming a Joint Powers Authority between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon, and the County of San Diego to serve as the governing body for the program. An industry day is being planned for mid-August to provide notice to prospective designers and contractors on the initiation of a selection process for the progressive design-build packages that will begin posting in Fall 2019. Partner agencies also continue to pursue grant and loan opportunities to help fund the estimated $528 million project.
The East County Advanced Water Purification Program is expected to begin producing water in 2025 and will provide 11.5 million gallons per day. In addition to providing a new local water supply, the program also will eliminate the need to send most of the wastewater generated from East County to the City of San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it is currently treated and then discharged into the ocean.