board votes to suspend EMV project
Helix Water District board of directors today voted
to suspend the El Monte Valley Mining, Reclamation,
and Groundwater Recharge Project . The project halt
is primarily due to a delay in the availability of advanced
treated recycled water and increased project cost.
For the El Monte Valley Project, Padre Dam Municipal
Water District would produce the advanced treated recycled
water, which requires upgrade and expansion of their
reclamation facility. Due to a revenue shortfall, Padre
Dam has deferred these improvements for at least four
years. Also, during the preparation of the draft Environmental
Impact Report, as the project design and cost were further
refined, the estimated cost of the advanced treated
recycled water increased from $1,200/acre-foot to about
$1,850/acre-foot. Before moving forward, the District
needs to have more certainty regarding both available
water and total project cost.
Helix Water District remains committed to finding new,
locally controlled sources of water to reduce San Diego
County's dependence on imported water and the District
will continue to explore options for water reuse.
With the El Monte Valley Project, the advanced treated
recycled water has to be percolated into a groundwater
basin, extracted and blended with all of the other raw
water supplies, and be treated again before it can be
used as drinking water. This is an example of indirect
potable reuse. The water industry is now analyzing the
science and technology of direct potable reuse, to be
able to blend advanced treated recycled water with other
raw surface water supplies where water treatment plants
are located downstream.
If, at some point in the future, the California Department
of Public Health Title 22 regulations for advanced treated
recycled water were changed to allow for direct potable
reuse, the recycled water could potentially bypass the
El Monte Valley and be placed directly into Lake Jennings.
Advanced treated recycled water is higher quality than
our imported water supplies. Pumping advanced treated
recycled water directly to Lake Jennings will also eliminate
the need for recharge facilities in the Valley and lower
the project cost.
Helix Water District will actively seek legislative
and/or regulatory revisions which would allow direct
potable reuse by collaborating with agencies that have
similar projects or water supply objectives.
The District will keep the public informed as it pursues
other options to bring a new water supply to the region.
will provide a drought-proof source of water
Water District is pursuing a new, permanent water supply
source by augmenting the water in the El Monte Valley
underground basin with highly purified, recycled water,
which will supply about 15 percent of the districts
The El Monte Valley Mining, Reclamation, and Groundwater
Recharge Project will use recycled water that has gone
through standard tertiary treatment, plus additional
microfiltration, 100 percent reverse osmosis, hydrogen
peroxide, and ultraviolet treatment.
Additionally, this new water source will support habitat
restoration along two-miles of the San Diego riverbed.
Read about the project's Myths
View the project's Speaker's
Presentation for a summary of details.
View the project's Full
Description for more in-depth information.
View Charts, Graphs,
Maps, and Figures referred to in the "Full
(The "Description" and "Charts"
documents will open in separate browser windows so you
can toggle between them or view them side-by-side on
County of San Diego Major Use Permit
Application. (23 megabytes)