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San Diego Supervisors OK Agreement For Water Treatment Project

An undated artist rendering of the East County advanced water purification pl...

Credit: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

Above: An undated artist rendering of the East County advanced water purification plant.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously approved a service agreement for an East County water project.

East County Advanced Water Purification is a regional project that includes the county Sanitation District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the city of El Cajon and Helix Water District. Those entities are also part of a joint powers authority, which was formed last November.

The agreement covers the amount of wastewater capacity and financial obligations for the Sanitation District, city of El Cajon and the Padre Dam district.

The Padre Dam and Helix water districts are finalizing a second agreement for the project, according to the county. Studies recommend building facilities that will treat more than 15 million gallons per day of wastewater collected in the communities of Alpine, El Cajon, Lakeside, Santee and Winter Gardens.

According to the county, those facilities will produce purified drinking water pumped into the Lake Jennings reservoir, and available to Helix and Padre Dam customers.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, in whose district the project is located, said it should be up and running by 2025.

When completed, the project will offload wastewater and offer a stable supply of potable water, said Jacob, who also thanked the county's Public Works Department for its efforts.

Contracts for project design and construction should be awarded later this year, according to the county. The project is estimated to cost more than $530 million, with funding by provided by state government, along with federal loans and grants.

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