Padre Dam has been a leader in water recycling for more than 50 years. The water recycling process began in Santee in the late 1950s followed by the opening of Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in 1961. The recycled water project and Santee Lakes received worldwide attention and continue to attract interest in the field of water reuse. In 1997, the Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility was expanded to 2 million gallons per day to provide water for Santee Lakes and for non-potable reuse in portions of the community.
Padre Dam's recycled water meets Title 22 standards and is approved for full body contact recreation and accidental ingestion, however it is not approved for drinking water consumption. Producing recycled water that is safe to drink requires additional treatment. Residents of Orange County, California, drink recycled water treated with reverse osmosis, injected into a groundwater basin, then treated again prior to distribution.
Future Recycled Water Use - Advanced Water Purification
Padre Dam has identified an exciting water recycling opportunity that will diversify our water supply and reduce dependency on imported water. If the full-scale program moves forward, it will meet approximately 25 to 30% of East San Diego County's current drinking water demands. Our Advanced Water Purification Program is a potential new source of water that would be locally controlled, reliable, drought proof and environmentally sound. The Program would take recycled water through an additional four-step water purification process using state-of-the-art technologies. By the time the water leaves the fourth treatment step is has been cleaned to the highest health and safety standards. For more information on this program or to tour our Demonstration Project visit our Advanced Water Purification page.