Padre Dam Municipal Water District named as Recycled Water Public Education Program of the Year

By on April 5, 2018

San Diego County’s Padre Dam Municipal Water District (PDMWD) was recently presented with the 2018 Recycled Water Community Outreach/Public Education Program of the Year award from WateReuse California. The award recognizes the public education and outreach efforts by PDMWD for their East County Advanced Water Purification Program.

The potable reuse campaign is now underway to educate the community about the purification program which when at full capacity will produce up to 30 percent of East County’s current drinking water demands and minimize dependency on imported water. 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 County’s recycled water.

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program is a partnership between Padre Dam, Helix Water District, the county of San Diego and the city of El Cajon. Padre Dam is currently the lead agency for the purification project.  In addition to the communication and outreach efforts, engineering planning, governance planning and research are also currently underway in preparation for construction and implementation.

“Public education and outreach is a vital component to the success of the East County Advanced Water Purification Program,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and general manager of the PDMWD. “The goal of our efforts has been to raise awareness and educate the community about the purpose, need and benefits of the project and begin changing public attitudes about potable reuse.”

The key tools of the public education and community outreach program are extensive and include an overview video, an animated video for families, a speaker’s bureau and a website. An extensive tour program welcomes the public, schools, scout groups and civic organizations from throughout San Diego County and California as well as visitors from throughout the United States and abroad.

“The communication efforts have not only offered a learning opportunity but have succeeded in achieving pivotal opinion-changing experiences for our community,” added Carlisle. “The outreach program has instilled confidence in the treatment process, highlighted the professionalism and competence of Padre Dam’s operations staff and reinforced the benefits and need of the program.”

PDMWD provides water, sewer, recycled water and recreation services to approximately 100,000 residents in East San Diego County including customers in Alpine, Blossom Valley, Crest, Dehesa, El Cajon, Flinn Springs, Harbison Canyon, Lakeside and Santee. The district currently imports 100 percent of its drinking water supply and treats two-million gallons per day of wastewater at its Water Recycling Facility.

To view key elements of PDMWD’s public education and outreach efforts in support of the East County Advanced Water Purification Program, go to: http://eastcountyawp.com/.