At a recent meeting, Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors approved a $160,464 contract to Brown and Caldwell to design a new Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project in East San Diego County, California. The contract, funded through a three million dollar state grant, includes the plan, design, installation and operation of a pilot demonstration plant that will use Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) technologies to provide a potential new source of water that would be safe, reliable, locally controlled, drought-proof and environmentally sound.
“Out of the firms that submitted proposals, Brown and Caldwell demonstrated the best approach and showed the best understanding of the state-of-the-art technologies needed for this important pilot project,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and general manager of Padre Dam. “With the current drought situation and Padre Dam being 100 percent dependent on imported water, it is extremely important that we find a way for East County to diversify its water supply.”
The Demonstration Project will take Padre Dam’s recycled water through four advanced water treatment steps – free chlorine disinfection, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and ultra violet/advanced oxidation. The water produced will be tested daily to ensure it meets the public health objectives for the California Public Health Department and will not be used in the drinking water system.
The Demonstration Project will last approximately three years and will not impact water rates. Work began in the fall of 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2016. This timeline includes at least 12-months of demonstration treatment facility operations. During this time, the Demonstration Project will produce approximately 100,000 gallons of AWT water per day for demonstration and testing purposes.
If the Padre Dam’s Demonstration Project is deemed successful and the Advanced Water Purification Project moves forward, the water treatment process would continue with additional steps and be similar to the successful Groundwater Replenishment System in Orange County. After treatment, the water would be injected into the Santee groundwater basin where it would be naturally filtered and then withdrawn and treated again prior to distribution as drinking water. The project would have the potential to distribute up to three million gallons of water per day or enough to serve approximately 5,500 households and businesses in the Padre Dam’s service area each year.