Padre Dam collects wastewater (sewer) from our Western Service Area (Santee and parts of El Cajon and Lakeside). On average, 40% of the wastewater collected is sent to our Water Recycling Facility where it is treated and becomes part of our recycled water supply. The remaining 60% travels from Padre Dam's wastewater system into the City of San Diego's Metropolitan Wastewater System where it is treated at their Point Loma facility.

Vactor Truck on a road with man using wiring

Sewer Cleaning

Padre Dam crews work throughout the year cleaning sewer lines with a sewer flushing truck to ensure a reliable and efficient sewer system. Crews clean an average of 157 miles of pipe per year. This activity consists of sending a high pressure hose with a nozzle that scours the inside of the sewer mains removing any grease or build up on the pipe walls. After the crews have cleaned the pipes, a CCTV truck sends a camera into the pipes to assess their condition. If problems are found crews will schedule and complete the necessary repairs.

How You Can Help

Customers can do their part in keeping our sewers clear by not dumping or flushing these items down the drain:

  • Anything that will not completely dissolve
  • Bandages
  • Disposable diapers
  • Fats, oils and grease (FOG)
  • "Flushable" wipes
  • Household cleaning wipes
  • Rags
  • Sanitary napkins


Although they may leave your home, these items do not disappear. They end up in our sewer collection system and can damage pumps and treatment systems, and must be manually removed. They can also contribute to sewer spills. The additional work caused by the above items results in costly maintenance and repairs. Please remember to place these items in the trash.

Sewer Spills

Our main focus is to prevent sewer spills and maintain the sewer system to get the longest life possible. Sewer spills can be damaging to humans and the environment, and are extremely expensive to clean up. Regulatory agencies can also levy fines for sewer spills which can be costly to the District. Padre Dam is proud to say we have very few sewer spills each year.

Sewer System Management Plan

Padre Dam updated it's Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) (PDF) in April 2019. The SSMP contains comprehensive information about Padre Dam's sewer system including emergency response and maintenance.