Municipalities, San Diego County extend partnerships on water purification program

Jan. 27, 2017
Padre Dam, Helix, El Cajon and the County to develop new reliable, locally-controlled, drought proof drinking water supply.

SANTEE, CA, JANUARY 27, 2017 -- Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and San Diego County have each approved new Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) with Padre Dam Municipal Water District for additional studies on the East County Advanced Water Purification Program. The MOUs commit the program partners to contribute a total of $474,000 toward Padre Dam's existing contract with Kennedy/Jenks Consultants to complete the studies. Previously, the four agencies partnered in the development of a joint planning study for the East County Advanced Water Purification Program.

"I am pleased that our partners want to continue moving forward on this project. East County imports almost 100 percent of its water and it is important that we work together to diversify our water supply and reduce our dependence on imported water," said Allen Carlisle, CEO and general manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

Per the MOUs, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants will conduct additional engineering, environmental, regulatory compliance, financial and project outreach studies and activities to provide important information needed for each partner to independently determine the final feasibility of implementing the program.

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program 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 wastewater. Using four advanced water purification steps, the end product is water so clean that it is near-distilled in quality.

When the program moves forward, it will generate up to 17,400 acre feet per year (AFY) of new drinking water. The program also will offload almost all of the wastewater generated from East County that currently flows to the City of San Diego's Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and is discharged in to the ocean.

"If the partners agree to move forward, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program can ultimately produce up to 30 percent of current drinking water demands for residents in the Padre Dam and Helix Water District service areas," added Carlisle.

For more information on the East County Advanced Water Purification Project, please visit or

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. Visit for more information.