Tag Archive for: Santee

East County Recycled Water Treatment Facility Set to Go Online in 2026

Work has been underway on a recycled water treatment project in Santee for about two years. In another two years, some East County residents will get their drinking water from the East County Advanced Water Purification program.

As soon as 2026, the East County Advanced Water Program will deliver water to the faucets of customers. Photo: East County AWP milestone

East County Advanced Water Program Hits Multiple Milestones  

Work on the East County Advanced Water Purification Program facilities and pipelines reached multiple milestones at the start of 2024, and construction continues on schedule at multiple East County locations through 2025. As soon as 2026, the AWP will deliver water to the faucets of customers in the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, Lakeside Water District service areas, and the northern portion of the Otay Water District service area.

At the main construction site north of Santee Lakes, more than 60% of the concrete has been poured for the water recycling, solids handling, and advanced water purification facilities. Nearly 60% of the 2.3 total miles of open-cut construction on wastewater pipelines that make up the AWP Program are complete.

More than 60% of the concrete has been poured for the East County Advanced Water Program water recycling, solids handling and advanced water purification facilities. Photo: East County AWP

More than 60% of the concrete has been poured for the East County Advanced Water Program water recycling, solids handling and advanced water purification facilities. Photo: East County AWP

Construction also continues on Fanita Parkway, north of Ganley Road in Santee, and within Santee Lakes Recreational Preserve. Pipeline water testing is now underway on that installed pipeline.

Work on the pipelines for the East County Advanced Water Program is affecting access to the Santee Lakes Recreational Preserve, which remains open. Photo: East County AWP

Work on the pipelines for the East County Advanced Water Program is affecting access to the Santee Lakes Recreational Preserve, which remains open. Photo: East County AWP

In addition, pipeline work at Santee Lakes is occurring between Lakes 3 and 4. There is a road closure and no parking in some areas. The Kiwanis Playground at Lake 4 remains open and parking has been preserved for playground visitors.

“Roughly a year and a half ago, we started with a blank slate and since then, the Joint Powers Authority and its project partners have made significant achievements at each of the construction sites,” said Mark Niemiec, director of the East County AWP. “It’s during these ongoing activities within the community including at Santee Lakes that we really appreciate our neighbors’ patience and understanding.”

Pipeline undergrounding scheduled this spring

These new pipelines servicing the East County Advanced Water Program will soon be moved underground. Photo: East County AWP

These new pipelines servicing the East County Advanced Water Program will soon be moved underground. Photo: East County AWP

The wastewater pipelines that will run from the East Mission Gorge Pump Station near State Route 52 to the first lake at Santee Lakes will soon be pulled underground. This trenchless construction method called “Horizontal Directional Drilling” minimizes the impacts to nearby waterways, including the San Diego River. The process takes an estimated 24 to 36 straight hours.

Elsewhere, Fanita Parkway will be temporarily closed for up to one week in March between Ganley Road and Lake Canyon Road to allow for paving on both sides of the street. Residents will see detour signs prior to the closure. The road closure will occur during the day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Purified water pipeline construction is continuing west on Mast Boulevard in Santee, as well as west on Mapleview Street in Lakeside and from Laurel Canyon Road to El Monte Road. Lane closures can be expected.

Residents and commuters in Santee and Lakeside can monitor road closures on the East County AWP website. Photo: East County AWP

Residents and commuters in Santee and Lakeside can monitor road closures on the East County AWP website. Photo: East County AWP

Construction on the 23,000-square-foot Visitors Center is in progress and will be completed by the end of 2025. It will house administrative offices, the operation control center, a testing laboratory, and a community room. The steel beam installation, including 66 columns and 100 beams, will use 350,000 pounds of U.S. steel.

The Flume Trail at Lake Jennings is officially back open following a 10-month closure for purified pipeline construction. The trail will close again during the summer for a couple of months to allow for additional pipeline construction near the shoreline.

The Flume Trail at Lake Jennings is officially back open following a 10-month closure. It will close again for additional construction later this summer. Photo: East County AWP

The Flume Trail at Lake Jennings is officially back open following a 10-month closure. It will close again for additional construction later this summer. Photo: East County AWP

When complete, the East County AWP Program will be able to create up to 11.5 million gallons of purified water per day, which is enough to serve an estimated 400,000 people, or roughly 30% of East San Diego County’s water supply.

The East County AWP Program includes construction of the following:

When operational, the East County AWP will be able to create up to 11.5 million gallons of purified water per day which is enough to serve roughly 30% of East San Diego County’s water supply. Photo: East County AWP

When operational, the East County AWP will be able to create up to 11.5 million gallons of purified water per day which is enough to serve roughly 30% of East San Diego County’s water supply. Photo: East County AWP

  • Water recycling facility treating 16 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater.
  • Advanced water purification facility treating and purifying 11.5 MGD.
  • Purified water pipeline transporting purified water 10 miles to Lake Jennings.
  • Wastewater and residual pipelines. Each segment is three miles long.
  • East Mission Gorge Pump Station (retrofitted) and City of San Diego partnership of regional brine and wastewater pipelines traveling from the pump station in Santee to the City of San Diego’s sewer line in Mission Valley.
  • Energy recovery system creating three megawatts of renewable energy.

To stay up-to-date with project schedules, community impacts and work descriptions, check the East County Advanced Water Purification Program’s interactive map on  www.eastcountyawp.com or visit @eastcountyawp on social media

The East County Advanced Water Purification project is making significant progress on construction toward its 2026 opening. Photo: East County AWP

East County Advanced Water Purification Project Progressing

The East County Advanced Water Purification project is progressing, with construction underway at multiple East San Diego County locations.

The project will create a new, local, sustainable, and drought-proof water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water. Construction for the East County AWP is expected to be completed in 2025, and water production will begin in 2026. When completed, the project is expected to provide approximately 30% of current drinking water demands for East San Diego County residents and businesses.

When completed, the water recycling facility will be able to treat 16 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The advanced water purification facility will be able to process 11.5 MGD. Photo: East County AWP

When completed, the water recycling facility can treat 16 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The advanced water purification facility will be able to process 11.5 MGD. Photo: East County AWP

Water treatment facilities are under construction north of Santee Lakes. Concrete work is underway on the water recycling and solids handling facilities. About 24,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured, marking nearly 50% of the total concrete used at this site. Once complete, there will be enough concrete to fill 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Crews at the East County AWP construction site in Santee found this friendly tarantula. More tarantulas are emerging from hiding as mating season is in full swing across San Diego County. Photo East County Advanced Water Puritifcation

Crews at the East County AWP construction site in Santee found this friendly tarantula. More tarantulas emerge from hiding as mating season is in full swing across San Diego County. Photo East County AWP

The advanced water purification facility and visitors center are also taking shape with the installation of underground piping and conduits.

When completed, the water recycling facility can treat 16 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The advanced water purification facility will be able to process 11.5 MGD.

Time lapse video of the project

Pipeline construction in Santee

Pipeline construction continues on Fanita Parkway north of Ganley in Santee. Biking and hiking access to the trails north of Ganley are temporarily located at the end of Strathmore to provide a safe space for construction.

Pipeline construction along Fanita Parkway north of Santee Lakes. Photo: East County Advanced Water Purification

Pipeline construction along Fanita Parkway north of Santee Lakes. Photo: East County AWP

The purified water pipeline will travel east through Santee and Lakeside, ending at Lake Jennings. Two additional pipelines will be constructed south of the new facilities past Carlton Oaks Drive to a pump station just south of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course.

Most pipeline work will be trenched, placed, and covered, while the remainder will be installed using trenchless technologies and methods. There may be some impacts from construction, including road travel delays. Construction hours vary depending on the project elements being completed.

The purified water pipeline running from the advanced water purification facility north of Santee Lakes to Lake Jennings is 10.2 miles long.

Interactive construction map

An interactive construction map tracks project construction sites and work progress. Photo: East County Advanced Water Purification

An interactive construction map tracks project construction sites and work progress. Photo: East County AWP

An interactive map allows viewers to zoom in and click on project areas to find active construction zones, schedules, work hours, and other information. Communication will include mailers, email updates, road signs, interactive maps, webpage updates, and presentations to community groups throughout the project area.

Groundbreaking ceremony in 2022

East County AWP-water recycling-water supply-sustainability

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program broke ground on June 1, 2022, marking an important milestone for the recycled water project in San Diego County. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

The June 2022 groundbreaking followed the approval of project construction on May 19, 2022, by the East County AWP Joint Powers Authority that owns and operates the Program. The Joint Powers Authority is a collaborative partnership between four agencies: Padre Dam, the City of El Cajon, the County of San Diego and Helix Water District. The project is estimated to create 2,500 jobs in the region.

East County Advanced Water Purification Program

East County AWP-water recycling-sustainability-water supply-recycling

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply by using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water to produce up to 30% of East County’s drinking water supply. Graphic: East County AWP

(Editor’s note: The Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Helix Water District are two of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

East County Breaks Ground on Wastewater Recycling Plant

People wearing business suits and hard hats broke ground Wednesday in Santee for the East County Advanced Water Purification Plant.

It’s part of a plan of four East County water agencies to take wastewater, that’s now treated and dumped in the ocean, and turn it into water that’s clean enough to drink.

The water recycling plant is expected to provide 11.5 million gallons a day of purified wastewater for East County ratepayers.

Crews Break Ground on $950M Water Purification Plant in East County

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program broke ground Wednesday, marking an important milestone for the project, which could purify up to 11.5 million gallons of water per day when it’s completed.

Program representatives, elected officials and water industry leaders gathered Wednesday at the future site of the treatment facility in Santee. The project was approved on May 19 by the East County AWP Joint Powers Authority, which owns and operates the program, and is a collaborative partnership between four agencies: Padre Dam, the city of El Cajon, the county of San Diego and the Helix Water District.

Work Begins on Recycling Plant to Supply 30% of East County’s Drinking Water

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program broke ground Wednesday, marking an important milestone for the project, which could recycle up to 11.5 million gallons of water per day when it’s completed.

Program representatives, elected officials, and water industry leaders gathered Wednesday at the future site of the treatment facility in Santee.

Santee Lakes Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve has been celebrating its 60th anniversary during the month of June. The 190‐acre park surrounding seven lakes has been around since it received San Diego County Health Department approval in 1961. The site has five miles of walking and biking trails, a campground with 300 full hook-up sites, seven lakefront cabins and three floating rental cabins on Lake 7. The lake allows for fishing with a permit and there are more than 200 species of birds that have been documented at the park. The preserve also has seven playgrounds, a brand new administrative building and a revamped general store that rents out pedal boats.