Water, Too Good to Waste

The Padre Dam Municipal Water District announced Tuesday that its East County Advanced Water Purification project was selected to apply for nearly $350 million in federal funding.

The water purification project is expected to create a sustainable municipal water supply through purification of east San Diego County’s recycled water, according to district officials. The project is scheduled for completion in 2025 and could generate up to 11.5 million gallons of drinking water per day, roughly 30% of east county’s drinking water demand.

The technology and plan are similar to the City of San Diego’s giant Pure Water project, which is expected to begin construction later this year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected the project to apply for $342 million in federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act funding. According to district officials, only 38 projects in 18 states were selected to apply for the funding, totaling roughly $6 billion to create nearly 200,000 jobs. The application project will take roughly one year before funding is dispersed.

“This recognition from the EPA further validates the need for this innovative and future-focused project that we and our agency partners have been diligently working to complete,” said district CEO and General Manager Allen Carlisle. “Funding sources like these will enable us to provide local, high- quality drinking water for our residents and businesses for generations to come.”

The project’s completion will nullify the need to send east county wastewater to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it is currently treated and released into the ocean. Treated water will be blended with water from Lake Jennings and treated a second time at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before its use as potable water.

The district is expected to form a joint-powers authority with the city of El Cajon and San Diego County to oversee the project’s development and the reception of funding. The JPA is scheduled to meet for the first time Nov. 5.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.