April 2016 Hydrospectives
First Vice President
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President
Philip L. Anthony
Jan Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
Michael R. Markus
The Orange County Water District (OCWD), in addition to providing freshwater to 2.4 million people through its 19 producers, provides educational opportunities, primarily about regional water, to men, women and many high school students on its campus in Fountain Valley, California.
But, during a two-day period every March, OCWD hosts enthusiastic children in grades 3, 4 and 5 who learn about water, energy, environmental protection, conservation, and more at its Children’s Water Education Festival.
This year, OCWD celebrated its 20th anniversary of the Festival at the University of California, Irvine. Nearly 7,000 children were in attendance from 74 schools. They included public, private and home schooled children. Additionally, 600 volunteers and presenters participated. Read More…
Professor Joan Rose, a leading authority on water microbiology who has dedicated her professional life to public health and water quality, was recently named the 2016 Stockholm Water Prize laureate. The Stockholm Water Prize will be awarded to Professor Rose for her contributions to global public health in assessing microbial risks associated with water supply. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will make the presentation at a Royal Award Ceremony on August 31 during the 2016 World Water Week in Stockholm.
Professor Rose has been a member of the NWRI-appointed Independent Advisory Panel for the Groundwater Replenishment System since its inception in 2004. Prior to that, she was a member of the Orange County Water District’s panel for the Santa Ana River Water Quality and Health Study from 1996 to 2004. Read More…
OCWD Engineer Ben Smith recently presented to 400 seventh grade students at Walker Junior High School in La Palma over the course of two days. The first day was dedicated to providing information to the students about the District and the science of water treatment/filtration. The second day involved students creating and testing water filters and their filtrate. One team of students successfully treated influent with 1,000+ NTU (turbidity) down to 0.66 NTU. The filters consisted of gravel, sand, napkins, coffee filters, and cotton balls. Read More…
OCWD Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory Director Lee Yoo presented his paper about monitoring and removal of nitrosamines at the Busan Water International Workshop and delivered a speech regarding monitoring p-chlorobenzene sulfonic acid (p-CBSA) & methadone at the Water Technology Conference held at the Korea Water Corporation (Kwater) in Korea on March 23 & 25, respectively. Read More…
The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) continues to gain recognition as the leading global model for local water supply reliability and the $142 million Initial Expansion (IE) of the project has been the impetus for two prestigious awards: WateReuse California’s Large Recycled Water Agency of the Year, to OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District, and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Water/Wastewater Treatment Project of the Year for the GWRSIE. This brings to a total five awards since the Initial Expansion went online in May 2015.
“We are truly honored and grateful that the GWRS received these distinguished awards,” said OCWD President Cathy Green. “The GWRS is a tremendous asset to the region, which has helped increase local water supplies and sustain years of drought conditions. It is our responsibility to invest in and implement water reliability projects that will meet the water needs of current and future generations,” she added.
A joint project of the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District, the GWRS brings a total of 100 million gallons of purified water to the Orange County Groundwater Basin every day.
For a complete list of awards honoring the project since it first began operating in 2008, please visit http://www.ocwd.com/newsevents/awards/.
Registration is now open and sponsorship opportunities are available for the 9th Annual OC Water Summit “Turbulent Times” on May 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Visit www.ocwatersummit.com to sign up.
Join leading business professionals, elected officials, water industry stakeholders, and community leaders from throughout Southern California to learn about the Orange County projects that will provide shelter from the storm of challenges in delivering reliable water and lessons learned from businesses that are harvesting profits despite the clouds.
The OC Water Summit is hosted by the Orange County Water District and the Municipal Water District of Orange County.
Tickets are $130 through May 5 and $150 thereafter.
Director of Health and Regulatory Affairs Jason Dadakis and Engineer Ben Smith attended the first local Working Group meeting for the establishment of guidelines for activating and monitoring recycled water-use sites in Orange County.
Guidelines are desirable because ambiguity in current regulations has resulted in a variety of approaches by individual agencies, slowing regulatory approval of new-use sites and producing disparate monitoring and inspection programs for current sites. Any future guidelines would be applicable to the District’s Green Acres Project (GAP).
The group is primarily comprised of local agencies that produce, distribute, and/or sell recycled water. Local regulators from the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water and Orange County Health Care Agency are supportive of the effort and will need to approve any resulting guidelines.
AB 2022 legislation for the bottling of advanced purified water for educational purposes, was heard before the California Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. Director of Water Production Mehul Patel testified during the hearing in support of the bill. The bill passed through this committee.
Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) introduced this legislation that will aid promotion and education about water reuse—a proven solution to solving water shortages. The bill is co-sponsored by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) and WateReuse California. Read More…
By William Hunt, OCWD Director of Special Projects
The Orange County Water District has a long tradition of innovation in its approach to water supply and groundwater management. Back in 1977, I joined OCWD as an operator of its brand new, state-of-the-art Water Factory 21 (WF21)—an advanced recycled water treatment plant. At the time of my arrival, a newly built (3 million gallon per day) seawater desalination plant was present on our site to provide a source of low salinity dilutent water needed to operate WF21.
The seawater plant was built and fully commissioned, but never placed into regular service. The reason it did not operate after commissioning was its bad timing relative to the 1970s energy crisis (1973-1979). Read More…
Board President Cathy Green; Directors Philip Anthony, Stephen Sheldon, Jan Flory, and Denis Bilodeau; General Manager Mike Markus; and Assistant General Manager Mike Wehner met with representatives of the World Bank and provided a briefing on the Orange County Water District and a tour of the Groundwater Replenishment System purification facilities.
The World Bank delegation is gathering information about water resources management in the drought stricken areas of California and the Southwest that might be beneficial in the Bank’s efforts to help other countries develop better approaches for water management. The technology, the economics and the policy approaches applied at OCWD to grapple with difficult water supply issues are all of interest to the World Bank in assisting with development in other parts of the world. Read More…
As part of its standard to forge and maintain long-term, positive and proactive relationships with members of the local community and greater water industry and to be transparent about its operations and programs, OCWD board members and staff speak regularly before groups and at events. We participated in the following during March:
• President Cathy Green and Legislative Affairs Liaison Alicia Dunkin met with Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang (Assembly District 55) regarding Proposition 1 funding for OCWD priority projects.
• Assistant General Manager Mike Wehner and Research Director Megan Plumlee met with Beate Wright (Executive Director, DC Office) and John Albert (Subscriber Services Manager) of the Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) to discuss OCWD’s research activities and how WaterRF can provide support.
• Chief Hydrogeologist Roy Herndon participated in an advisory panel meeting with the Department of Water Resources to provide comments on the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan regulations that are out for public comment.
OCWD continues to be recognized for its leadership in the water industry. Below are a few of the District’s recent media highlights:
• Huffington Post: If Farm-To-Table Eating Is Cool, What About Toilet-To-Tap Drinking? By Joseph Erbentraut
• Orange County Register: Recent winter storm brings little rain to O.C. By Brooke Edwards Staggs
• KQED Science: Catching Storm Runoff Could Ease Droughts, But It’s No Quick Fix By Molly Peterson
OCWD’s employees are its most valuable resources. It is committed to recruiting the best and enriching their lives to grow within the water industry and the District family.
Congratulations to Rodger Denecochea on his recent retirement from OCWD after 26 years of service.
Thank you to the nearly 400 guests that toured OCWD’s facilities in March:
Tours of the GWRS were given to members of the World Bank Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council Los Angeles Leadership Council, and Huntington Beach Home and Community Group; nursing students from California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach; attendees of the American Society of Civil Engineers/California State University, Long Beach conference; students from Santiago, Estancia, Katella and El Modena high schools; students from University of California, Irvine and Riverside exchange programs; environmental health students from California State University, Fullerton; San Bernardino Valley College and UCI Extension Program students; alumni from Dartmouth College; and members of the public.
In addition, an Iranian delegation toured OCWD’s Prado Wetlands and staff from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California received an injection well field tour.
Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month; reservations are required. Tours may be scheduled for other days of the week, depending on staff availability. To schedule a tour, request more information or schedule a speaker, please visit www.ocwd.com.
18700 Ward Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
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