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treatment, the water would be injected into the Santee groundwater basin where it would be naturally filtered and then withdrawn and treated again prior to distribution as drinking water.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.

For more information on the Advanced Water Purification Project and all of Padre Dams’ projects and program, please see or

The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) announced the winners of its 2013 awards program at its Annual Conference in Santa Clara on May 2.  Congratulations to these agencies and individuals leading the way in the water environment field!

Established in 1929, CWEA’s awards program has grown to acknowledge outstanding achievement in more than 20 categories honoring exceptional California water environment professionals, collection systems, and treatment plants.  Categories include Plant of the Year, Collection System of the Year, Public Education Program of the Year as well as awards of individual professionals in various vocations. The program seeks to recognize outstanding achievements within the water environment field, improve the professional status of all personnel working in the field, and stimulate public awareness of the importance of wastewater treatment to public health and the water environment. [Read more]

According to the May WE&T article “Help Wanted: Five Steps to Navigate the Current and Future Worker Shortage Successfully,” a staffing and succession planning strategy is essential to safeguarding the future of utilities in light of fewer players and heightened requirements around performing the work. This open-access feature describes five possible steps water and wastewater utilities can take to continue to staff their facilities with qualified personnel. Read more.

New Memorandum Pledges Mutual Support, Facilitates Continued Collaboration

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to accelerate joint work to grow and disseminate water knowledge and to serve and advance the global water profession.

The MOU, which builds on the long history of successful collaboration between the two leading water quality organizations, underscores the intent for continued work together toward improved water management. Specifically, WEF and IWA will seek opportunities for mutually beneficial joint activities, initiatives and special projects as well as support each other’s events and encourage continued collaboration between their shared members, the professionals working to protect and sustain the world’s water resources.

“WEF is delighted about this important step to strengthen an already great working relationship with IWA on multiple fronts,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “As a result of this MOU, we can look forward to more exciting initiatives that support our mutual interest in improved water management through service to water professionals.”

Ger Bergkamp, Executive Director of the IWA added that, “the deepening collaboration between IWA and WEF underscores the commitment and determination of both organizations to improve water management, and to deliver solutions to meet the water challenges of the future. The MOU is an exciting development for the joint work of IWA and WEF going forward.”

Click here to read the MOU in its entirety.

Seven students from Dublin and San Ramon were honored at Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) Board of Directors meeting for their award-winning projects at the Science and Engineering Fairs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The students, all from the DSRSD service area, were winners of theExcellence in Water Research award. The awards were created last year by water and wastewater agencies in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to recognize outstanding student projects in the world of water.

Sixty projects were considered for the Excellence in Water Research awards at the junior and senior levels in both fairs. “The judges were impressed by the students’ creativity in researching significant, real-world problems, and in their excellent workmanship,” said Sue Stephenson, community affairs supervisor at DSRSD.

[Read more]