San Diego County Regional Water Reuse Facility Moves Forward

JPA Approves Critical Service Agreements
Resource Recovery, Technology and Innovation

The East County Advanced Water Purification (AWP) Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Board of Directors unanimously approved water and wastewater service agreements this week, moving this significant drinking water project one-step closer to reality. These water and wastewater agreements are critical to the JPA’s eligibility for key Program financing opportunities.

Water purchase agreements were approved between the East County AWP JPA and Padre Dam Municipal Water District and between the East County AWP JPA and Helix Water District. The water purchase agreements cover the terms and conditions for water delivery volumes and water pricing for the purchase of Purified Water by Helix as well as Padre Dam’s purchase of Purified Water and Title 22 recycled water. The water service agreement was previously approved unanimously by Padre Dam’s Board of Directors on May 20, 2020. It is anticipated that Helix Water District will consider approval of the agreement at a Special Board meeting scheduled on May 27, 2020.

“Approval of these service agreements bring us another step closer to securing this new local water supply source for East County,” comments JPA Chair Gary Kendrick. “This innovative and collaborative project has significant water and wastewater benefits for our community and will ensure necessary water reliability for future generations.”

The wastewater service agreement was approved between the East County AWP JPA, the San Diego County Sanitation District, City of El Cajon and Padre Dam Municipal Water District. The wastewater service agreement covers the financial obligations and wastewater capacities related to the Project. The participating agencies will commit all available wastewater flows generated within their individual service areas that can be delivered, treated and disposed of by the East County AWP. The wastewater service agreement was previously approved by the City of El Cajon on May 12, and the County Sanitation District and Padre Dam on May 20, 2020.

The JPA’s execution of service agreements for wastewater and water supply are a prerequisite to obtaining a credit rating for the JPA, which is required for many financing options. The agreements also provide the necessary financial commitments to ensure long-term security of the JPA’s revenues.
Once complete, the $528 million East County AWP program will generate up to 11.5 million gallons per day of new drinking water – approximately 30 percent of current drinking water demands for residents in East San Diego County. The project uses 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.

The procurement process for the East County AWP is well underway. The Project has three Progressive-Design-Build packages. The final request for proposals (RFP) have been issued to shortlisted firms for Packages 1 and 2 and statement of qualifications (SOQ) for Package 3 are due on June 1, 2020. Additionally, the JPA Board approved the release of the RFP for Owner’s Advisor Services for the Project at its May 21, 2020 meeting. The Owner’s Advisor is intended to provide experience and insight through the procurement, design and construction process to ensure a successful Project. This RFP is scheduled to be released on May 27, 2020.

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program is a regional water and wastewater solution. This Program is a collaborative partnership between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the County of San Diego, the City of El Cajon and Helix Water District. It will create a new, local, sustainable and drought proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify recycled water and diversify East County’s water supply while reducing our dependence on imported water. This Program will provide up to 30 percent of East County’s drinking water demands while reducing wastewater discharge into the Pacific Ocean. For more information about the East County Advanced Water Purification Program, please visit

Melissa McChesney
Communications Manager
(619) 258-4680
(619) 572-1490 (cell)
[email protected]

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