Seval Sen has a passion for wastewater. She enjoys the challenge of working with water containing unknown and varying components. As an engineer at Padre Dam, Seval works to plan updates, improvements and expansions of Padre Dam's existing infrastructure including pipes, tanks and pumps.
"Our infrastructure is behind the scenes, we like to be invisible, if we are invisible it means everything is working properly. When a person flushes water they expect it to disappear, they don't want to see it or smell it again. A lot of engineering goes in to that."
Seval always knew she wanted to be an engineer, and became interested in wastewater treatment while obtaining her master's degree. Her favorite project is planning the new infrastructure for the Advanced Water Purification Program, Padre Dam's project which will create a new, local, sustainable and drought proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East County's recycled water. She is also heavily involved in applying for grants to pay for the project.
"The Advanced Water Purification Program is going to provide a reliable drinking water source for our district. Right now we rely completely on a third party to supply us with drinking water, which makes us vulnerable to price increases. I believe that this project will do a lot to help us to continue to provide quality water to our customers."
Working on the AWP project is a unique challenge because since Padre Dam is one of the first to do a Reservoir Augmentation Project, the regulatory process is not as straight forward as a typical water project. In addition, water produced by the AWP Project must meet even more stringent purification requirements than existing drinking water.
The project may come with extra challenges, however Seval enjoys working to make this water supply project a reality. Seval is proud to share that water produced from the AWP Demonstration Facility has consistently met or exceeded state and federal standards and a full-scale facility has been given conceptual approval.
Seval enjoys working at Padre Dam because, "You can actually make a difference, you're serving the public.
I feel it's more rewarding because I'm not trying to make a profit for a company, I'm serving people and shaping the future for them."