EPA Announces $18 Million WIFIA at Helix Water District
The The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an $18 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Helix Water District in San Diego County. to support the drinking water reliability project. Through the WIFIA loan from the EPA, Helix Water District will increase the region’s drinking water resilience by expanding opportunities for water reuse and reducing reliance on imported water.
“The Helix Water District project represents the future of water in the West,” said EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott. “The EPA is proud to help fund these infrastructure upgrades that will increase water reuse and help ensure reliable and safe drinking water for generations to come.
Helix Water District will upgrade existing pump stations, transmission infrastructure and distribution pipelines, as well as install an aeration system in Lake Jennings to meet the state’s surface water requirements. By completing this project, Helix Water District will replace 30% of its water needs currently being met by overloaded regional sources with an alternative source of purified water from the East County Advanced Water Purification Project. who received a separate WIFIA loan. This project also supports California’s Title 22 “Pure Water” goal to increase recycled water use by at least 2 million acre-feet per year by 2030.
“In California, we purify recycled water and ocean water to replace the water that nature provided to us,” said Kathleen Coates Hedberg, Helix Water District Board Chair. “The only way we can afford to keep rates as low as possible and grow these new projects is through collaboration – multiple agencies working together and securing capital from multiple funding sources. We are working in partnership with neighboring agencies to develop a new drought-tolerant water supply and are thrilled that the EPA selected our project for funding.
Helix Water District was formed by residents over 100 years ago to bring water to communities in East San Diego County. Today, they treat water for much of East County and distribute water to the 277,000 people in their service area.
Helix supplies water to the towns of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and El Cajon, the communities of Spring Valley and Lakeside, and other areas of the county.