Padre Dam Municipal Water District  |  Santee, CA

Padre Dam

Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project

Size of Facility
15.5 MGD
Program Value
$150 MIL
Construction Value
$1.6 MIL

In an effort to create a new local sustainable water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify recycled water, Padre Dam Municipal Water District (Padre Dam) recently employed the services of Trussell Technologies and KJ to design, construct and complete year-long testing of an advanced water purification (AWP) demonstration project.

The demonstration testing was funded by a Proposition 50 Integrated Regional Water Management grant from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The funding timeline required the design, construction, and yearlong testing be completed in just over two years. Coordination with the team of consultants, the construction contractor and the client’s management, engineering, public relations and operations staff was critical in successfully completing this project on schedule and within budget.

KJ and Trussell Technologies partnered on this project to provide the combination of services and engineering expertise needed to realize Padre Dam’s vision. The KJ and Trussell Technologies team is an industry leader in the design of AWP systems.

For this project the team provided:

  • Coordination with Regulatory Agencies
  • AWP process design
  • Review and consideration of alternative forms of project delivery
  • Demonstration facility design
  • Engineering support during construction
  • Coordination of an Independent Advisory Panel
  • Demonstration testing
    • operational support
    • data analysis
    • challenge testing
  • Identification and testing of brine management options

This project has resulted in the creation of a facility that has provided:

  • a means for successfully demonstrating the viability of an innovative treatment process, to meet Title 22 regulations for groundwater recharge and recovery and emerging regulations for surface water augmentation,
  • opportunity for training Padre Dam Operations Staff,
  • testing of the emerging technologies for brine minimization prior to full-scale implementation,
  • a means for engaging and educating the public through guided tours and events held at the demonstration facility visitor center.
AWP Demonstration Testing Facility
AWP Demonstration Testing Facility, located adjacent to the Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility and Santee Lakes.

The majority of the wastewater within the East County Agencies (of which Padre Dam is a member) Service Area Boundary would be diverted from the San Diego Metro system to Padre Dam’s Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility.

The demonstration facility created for this project provides the platform for validation of the proposed treatment process in controlling public health threats; including microbial pathogens and toxic chemicals. Three primary components are required to achieve a successful IPR system: (1) treatment, (2) monitoring and (3) residence time. This demonstration facility allows verification of the proposed AWP treatment train which combines several processes: free chlorine disinfection (FC), ultra-filtration (UF), reverse osmosis (RO), ultraviolet irradiation with advanced oxidation process (UV/AOP) as well as testing potential brine recovery side stream processes to improve the recovery rate.

Public Outreach and Education

In addition to the regulatory and technological objectives, the AWP Demonstration Facility also serves as a venue for public education and outreach. This required the facility to be designed such that the process could be presented safely and understood by the general public during tours. A visitor center was provided to host tours and provide an area indoors for educational sessions and events. Since coming online in 2015, this demonstration facility has provided tours to over 2,500 people.

The AWP Demonstration Project Guided Tour
The AWP Demonstration Project is open to the public for guided tours.

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