WateReuse California Names Recycled Water Agency of the Year

March 30, 2017
East County Advanced Water Purification partners recognized in medium category

Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego were named “Recycled Water Agency of the Year,” medium agency category, from the WateReuse California Section and the WateReuse California Board for their work on the East County Advanced Water Purification program. The award was presented at the WateReuse California Annual Conference Monday, March 20, in San Diego.

“The four-agency partnership on this program has made a significant impact towards advancing water reuse and creating a new source of water by purifying East County’s recycled water,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and general manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “Using state-of-the-art technology to purify East County’s recycled water, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, reliable and sustainable drinking water supply. The end product is water so clean that it is near-distilled in quality.”

Padre Dam imports 100% of its potable water supply and Helix imports approximately 90% of its potable water supply. The Advanced Water Purification Program will diversify East County’s water supply and reduce its dependence on imported water by locally producing up to 30% of the drinking water for residents in the Padre Dam Municipal Water District and Helix Water District water service areas.

“Having a locally controlled water supply is good for residents and business owners, and it is a huge accomplishment for all the local agencies that are teaming up to make it happen,” said County Board Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “A balanced water resources portfolio is not easy to achieve, but by working together we are demonstrating that collaboration is the key to achieving cost-effective, beneficial projects that are a win for everyone.”

The medium category for the Agency of the Year Award is for beneficial reuse projects creating between 1,000 and 5,000 acre-ft per year. The award was presented to the program based on critical milestones achieved in 2016 to support the successful implementation of the program. The project elements included:

  • Developing a regional solution for creating new, local, sustainable, drought-proof and environmentally sound drinking water supply;
  • Completing a collaborative Program Planning Study to evaluate the project’s engineering and economic feasibility;
  • Testing an innovative approach aimed to explore ways to maximize purified water production in a cost-effective manner;
  • Receiving critical feedback and support from an Independent Advisory Panel; and.
  • Providing outreach, education, and tours to the community, including the public, media and elected officials.

“We are using a combination of innovative technologies, community outreach and leadership to pave the way for successful implementation of the Advanced Water Purification Program in East County,” Carlisle said. “The collaborative partnership is good governance and is serving as a model for sustainable water supply projects for other agencies throughout the state and the nation.”

Source: WateReuse Assn.