East County Advanced Water Purification Update
The East County Advanced Water Purification Program continues to meet major milestones. In July, the Program received $86 million in funding from Metropolitan Water District's Local Resources Program. This vital funding source adds to the more than $200 million in low interest loans and grants from the State of California that the East County AWP Program has successfully competed for. The Program's financing plan assures ratepayer affordability through the mix of Local Resources Program incentives, grant funding and low interest loans from the state and federal government as well as financing from the municipal bond market. 

In addition, the East County AWP Joint Powers Authority, the governing body that oversees the Program, along with all four partner agencies (Padre Dam, County of San Diego, City of El Cajon and Helix Water District) have approved water and wastewater service agreements, moving this significant drinking water project one step closer to reality.

The water purchase agreements cover the terms and conditions for water delivery volumes and pricing for purified water and recycled water. The wastewater service agreement covers the financial obligations and wastewater capacities related to the Project. 

Once completed, the East County AWP Program will create a new local source of clean drinking water for East County. This important drinking water program will provide up to 30% of the region's water supply while nearly eliminating the discharge of 15 million gallons a day of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean. Click here to find out more about the Program or Sign-up for the East County AWP Newsletter

Padre Dam Landscape Contest Winner
As you come around the corner in their neighborhood, you'll notice Melissa and Josh Perrell's landscape bursting with bright colors. Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes. It's hard to believe that they did not use a drop of water last year to sustain this beautiful landscape.

The Perrells decided to remove their lawn and install a water efficient garden about two years ago. They were tired of spending time mowing and using large amounts of water to keep the grass alive only for it to go brown in the summer. They wanted a low-water option that would look healthy year-round and require little maintenance.

The couple heard about the Turf Replacement Rebate Program available to Padre Dam customers and applied for the program. After receiving estimates from several landscapers, they quickly found that if they wanted to stick to the budget they would receive from the program, they were going to have to install their landscape themselves. This gave them the opportunity to design their own landscape, support local businesses, and choose their own plants.

"We chose plants that were hardy so we wouldn't need to replace them or do too much maintenance," said Melissa. "We also incorporated rosemary and lavender because we think it's neat to be able to cook with and use the plants that you have."

After planning and designing their dream front yard, the Perrells spent four days removing their turf, installing rocks, installing irrigation, planting and laying mulch. They used a local nursery to select plants that fit their style and budget. By working straight through the process, their landscape completely transformed in less than a week. Their DIY cost-saving approach meant that they were reimbursed for 100% of the cost of their new front yard through the Turf Replacement Rebate Program.

Melissa's favorite part of her new landscape is its different heights and colors and that it is low-maintenance, there is no pruning or trimming required. There's also hardly any watering required, and while they have a drip irrigation system in place, they were able to turn it off and let their landscape be completely watered naturally last year. They only just turned the system on again as the weather began to heat up at the end of June.

"It's cool that it was something we were able to do together," Melissa said. "It's fun because our neighbors watched us put it in and now when we see them they say 'your yard's looking really nice!'"

Turf Replacement Program Rebate
For a limited time, you can receive up to $3 per square foot when you replace your grass with a drought tolerant landscape. The Turf Replacement Program, run by Metropolitan Water District, helps homeowners make the switch to water-efficient landscaping. Based on funding availability, the rebate has temporarily increased to up to $3 per square foot of turf replaced for customers in the San Diego area. To find out more information about the program, its requirements and to estimate your rebate, visit www.BeWaterWise.com.

Water is Life: Student Poster Contest Winners

Padre Profile: Amy Pederson
For every Board meeting at Padre Dam, it's someone's responsibility to coordinate with staff to put together the agenda and presentations, take minutes, and ensure regulatory compliance. This person is Board Secretary Amy Pederson, and planning Board meetings is just the beginning of her job description. 

In addition to the more than forty Board and committee meetings she manages on a yearly basis, Amy is responsible for overseeing administrative activities for Padre Dam's Board of Directors, the General Manager, Padre Dam's Management Team, and the recently formed East County Advanced Water Purification Joint Powers Authority to which Padre Dam serves as the Administrator. This means collaborating with Department Heads and coordinating with Department Managers, outside agencies and others in support of District goals and services.

"It's a multi-faceted role that often requires juggling competing priorities, but the variety is one of my favorite parts of my job," Amy said. "The role and priorities can change every single day, and that's what I thrive on."

Amy's role gives her a unique vantage point to see the entire complex workings of the District come together toward the common goal of providing safe and reliable water and wastewater services to customers. She sees how Departments like Finance, IT, Engineering and Operations all play a part in producing vital infrastructure projects. Her role is to be the force behind the scenes to advance these projects by ensuring that they go through the proper processes and can be considered and voted on by the Board.

"As a public agency there are various laws we must follow to conduct agency business," Amy explained. "Without the detailed administrative work that goes into getting a project or contract voted on by the Board, there wouldn't be any pipes in the ground."

Padre Dam Essential Workers are Here For You
Padre Dam staff continues to provide you with water that is safe, reliable and plentiful during these challenging times. We will never stop working to provide you with high quality water and wastewater services. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Padre Dam's Customer Service Center lobby is currently closed to the public in order to ensure customer and staff safety.  The health of the public is our top priority and the health of our staff is critical to ensuring high quality water and wastewater services for our customers.

You may continue to see Padre Dam employees working in the field as we continue to work to bring you safe and reliable water and wastewater services. Customer Service Representatives are here for you by phone at 619.258.4600 Mondays - Thursdays 9:00 am - 4:30 pm and Fridays 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand some customers may be experiencing financial hardships that may cause delay in paying your bill. If this is the case, please contact us for assistance or to set up payment arrangements. 

For information on our COVID-19 response visit: www.padredam.org/covid19.