Advanced purified bottled water sourced from wastewater
40 years of water reuse technology and experience is now available in a bottle!
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) has managed the Orange County Groundwater Basin, the major source of potable water for the region, since 1933. Today, the basin provides 75 percent of the water needs for more than 2.5 million people.
The demand for clean water far exceeds the basin’s natural replenishment rates. The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), a joint effort between OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), came online in 2008 to provide reliable water to protect the basin from subsidence and seawater contamination and to meet future water demands.
The GWRS is the world’s largest advanced water purification project for potable reuse. It produces approximately 100 million gallons of purified water per day. The GWRS surpassed a major water production milestone when it hit the 200-billion-gallon mark in 2016 – a world record!
The GWRS process begins with stringent pre-purification treatments of wastewater by OCSD followed by a three-step advanced purification process:
OCWD annually analyzes about 7,000 GWRS water samples each year and reports about 140,000 results. It tests for more than 500 compounds. The end product adheres to rigorous statewide quality standards, surpasses those standards, and is similar in quality to distilled water. The GWRS has earned more than 40 awards for its scientific and engineering achievements.
In 2016, the state of California signed AB 2022, allowing GWRS water to be directly bottled for educational purposes – a first in the Western Hemisphere.
Beginning in March of 2017, OCWD and OCSD took bottles of GWRS purified water on a year-long tour in California to share information about water reuse and to provide a taste to audiences who would otherwise not have the opportunity to try it. At the tour's end in February of 2018, and in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the GWRS set the Guinness World Records™ title for the Most Wastewater Recycled in 24 Hours.