Advanced Purified Demonstration Water Update

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.

Currently, agencies are not allowed to bottle reused water because of the source, even though the end product meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards and undergoes more testing than other drinking and bottled water supplies. Consumers must visit an advanced purification facility in person to taste this clean, safe reused water.

OCWD and OCSD have partnered for over 20 years to plan, design, build and operate one of the world’s most advanced water reuse facilities, the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). The GWRS provides water reliability for the region by purifying 100 million gallons per day (MGD) of highly treated wastewater to increase the local drinking water supply for north and central Orange County.

“Advanced purified water is becoming a common tool for water suppliers as we diversify water portfolios to improve reliability, but the law hasn’t caught up to including treated wastewater as a reliable resource,” said OCWD President Cathy Green. “OCWD has been operating world-renowned water reuse facilities since the 1970s, starting with Water Factory 21 and culminating with the GWRS. Thousands of people from around the world have toured the GWRS to learn about this advanced purification technology first-hand and taste the ultra-pure water. We have witnessed that tasting and seeing means believing and we support legislation to bottle this type of water," she added.