SANTEE — The Padre Dam Municipal Water District was awarded $6 million this month from the State Water Resources Control Board to be used toward its recycled water facility.

The funds are part of the San Diego Integrated Regional Water Management grant provided by the 2006 voter-approved Proposition 84.

Padre Dam, which celebrates its 60th birthday Nov. 23, also received $200,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to be used toward researching options for maximizing water production.

Allen Carlisle, general manager of the water district, said the money will be used to expand and upgrade Padre Dam’s Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility so it can accommodate more wastewater for the East County Advanced Water Purification Program.

As part of the program, Padre Dam’s Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility takes water from the water recycling facility and treats it using four advanced water purification steps.

Other projects that were awarded money from the San Diego Integrated Regional Water Management grant this year include Rancho San Diego-based Water Conservation Garden’s “Ms. Smarty-Plants Grows Water Wise Schools,” Sweetwater Reservoir Wetlands Habitat Recovery and Conservation Home Makeover in the Chollas Creek Watershed.

Prop 84, a $5.38 billion bond measure, aimed to provide $1.5 billion for water quality; $928 million to protect rivers, lakes and streams; $800 million for flood control, $580 million for local parks and energy conservation; $540 million to safeguard coastal waters and beaches; $500 million for state parks, $450 million for forest and wildlife programs; and $65 million to plan future water projects.

“The money from Prop. 84 couldn’t have come at a better time,” Carlisle said. “Currently, our water recycling facility treats 2 million gallons of wastewater per day. The amount of recycled water produced needs to be increased to create an additional water supply for Padre Dam and its project partners.”

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program could ultimately produce up to 13 million gallons of water per day, allowing residents in the Padre Dam and Helix Water districts, El Cajon and other areas in the East County a source of water that is safe, reliable, locally controlled and drought-proof, Carlisle said.

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