EPA selects East County Advanced Water Purification program to apply for $342M in funding

Nov. 13, 2019
The program is one of only 38 projects chosen nationwide to apply.

SAN DIEGO, CA, NOV 13, 2019 -- The East County Advanced Water Purification project has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to apply for $342 million in funding from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. The project is one of only 38 projects selected across 18 states to apply for loans totaling approximately $6 billion to help finance over $12 billion in water infrastructure investments and create almost 200,000 jobs.

The East County Advanced Water Purification Project will 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. Scheduled to be complete in 2025, the project will generate up to 11.5 million gallons per day of new drinking water, which is approximately 30% of current drinking water demands for residents in East San Diego County.   “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 Allen Carlisle, CEO/general manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “Funding sources like these will enable us to provide local, high-quality drinking water for our residents and businesses for generations to come.”

 Once complete, the program will use four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is near-distilled in quality. After treatment, the purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water. In addition to providing a new local water supply, the program will eliminate the need to send most of East County’s wastewater to the City of San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it is currently treated and then discharged into the ocean.  Earlier in July, the 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 a $9.4 million Interim Funding Agreement (IFA) to ensure that the project was funded through 2020.   The next steps for the program 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 $528 million program. The East County Joint Powers Authority will host its initial formation meeting on November 5, 2019.

For more information about the East County Advanced Water Purification program, visit http://eastcountyawp.com.