July 2016

OCWD Board Members


Cathy Green

First Vice President

Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.

Second Vice President

Philip L. Anthony

Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.

General Manager

Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

In This Issue:

President’s Message — July is Smart Irrigation Month
Community Open House on Aug. 13
OCWD Honored with AWRA Sandor C. Csallany Award
BPP Remains Constant During Drought
GWRS Awarded Outstanding Membrane Plant of the Year
Exploration of Ocean Desalination
OCWD Hosts GE Analytical Instruments TOC User Group
Out in the Community
OCWD Employees—Employee of 2nd Quarter
June Tours


President’s Message — July is Smart Irrigation Month

Smart Irrigation Month Logo

A fairly healthy snowpack and slightly above normal rain for one season do not compensate for five years of drought. Remember, those El Niño rains stayed to the north of us. And, although they did help refill reservoirs that supply our imported water, our Orange County Groundwater Basin contains 25 percent in its optimum pumping range to avoid land subsidence and seawater intrusion, while supplying 75 percent of the water needs of 2.4 million people in north and central parts of the county.

That’s why water conservation remains important.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “In dry climates such as the Southwest, a household's outdoor water use can be as high as 60 percent." In addition, some experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of water used for irrigation is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems.

July is the 11th annual Smart Water Irrigation Month, initiated by the Irrigation Association to increase awareness of the value of water use and grow demand for water-saving products, practices and services. Read More…

Cathy Green


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Community Open House on Aug. 13

 Open House Masthead

The Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District will host a community open house on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event will feature games, activities, music, giveaways, prizes, food, and more!

Don't miss your chance to tour the world's largest advanced water purification facility of its kind, the Groundwater Replenishment System.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour Orange County Water District's renowned Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory .  Space is limited on the tours, so it is very important to RSVP in advance. Children are welcome (recommended for ages 10+).

A variety of games and activities* for all ages await you at the Community Open House. Visit all participating booths and be entered to win a prize. Be among the first to visit OCWD's new "What's in a Drop of Water?" interactive exhibit at the H2O Learning Center, meet the scientists who make sure your water is safe to drink, climb aboard a bulldozer used to maintain OCWD's award-winning groundwater management operation, build your own groundwater aquifer to take home, play a fun game of basketball as you learn how OCWD uses a barrier to keep seawater out of the groundwater basin, and much more.

Hamburgers, hotdogs and soft drinks will be available for purchase. The Community Open House will also feature complimentary popcorn, snow cones and water.

The main entrance to the event is located at 18700 Ward Street, Fountain Valley. An additional entrance is located at the Orange County Sanitation District: 10844 Ellis Avenue, Fountain Valley.

For additional information, we invite you to visit the Community Open House website or to please call the Community Open House information line at (714) 378-8272.

 *Games and activities subject to change

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OCWD Honored with AWRA Sandor C. Csallany Award

AWRA LogoThe American Water Resources Association has announced that the Orange County Water District is the recipient of the 2016 Sandor C. Csallany Institutional Award for Exemplary Contributions to Water Resources Management. OCWD board and staff feel privileged and honored to be given this most prestigious award, named for AWRA’s founder and first award recipient, who recently passed in June. The award is presented to a water resources institution that has achieved a status of eminence in some aspect of water resources management. AWRA’s board of directors and members selected OCWD for its outstanding forethought and creativity in the form of progressive groundwater management and water reuse. The Csallany medal will be presented at the Annual AWRA Awards Luncheon on Nov. 16 in Orlando, Fla.

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BPP Remains Constant During Drought

Every year, the District’s retail agencies (Producers) are allowed to pump groundwater based upon their water needs and the projected groundwater supplies available. OCWD controls total annual Basin Pumpinggroundwater pumping with the Basin Production Percentage (BPP) and the Basin Equity Assessment (BEA).

OCWD sets the BPP in April and it goes into effect in July. This year’s BPP was maintained at 75 percent. This was due primarily to lower water demands as Californians are conserving, plus OCWD’s groundwater management, including additional stormwater capture and the 100 million gallons each day provided by the Groundwater Replenishment System. Groundwater is about half the cost of imported water. This translates into a cost savings for water retailers and end-users, as the amount of costly imported water that must be purchased decreases. Read More…

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GWRS Awarded Outstanding Membrane Plant of the YearDavid Smith and Thomas Knoell

The Southwest Membrane Operator Association (SWMOA) honored the Groundwater Replenishment System with the 2016 Outstanding Membrane Plant Award—Large Facility. Presented at the SWMOA Annual Symposium, the award recognizes outstanding plant operations and maintenance and exemplary membrane treatment plant performance.

The planning and implementation of new membrane technologies in the GWRS Initial Expansion resulted in optimized performance and flow equalization, increased energy efficiency, post treatment stabilization, and cost savings.

OCWD Principal Process Specialist Thomas Knoell (right) received the SWMOA Award on behalf of the GWRS and is shown with SWMOA Board Member David Smith.

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Exploration of Ocean Desalination

The Orange County Water District Board of Directors held meetings in June and July 2016 to continue discussions on the proposed Huntington Beach Poseidon Resources Ocean Desalination project.

Several items were reviewed and voted on at the June 1, 2016 OCWD Board of Directors meeting and on July 6, 2016, the OCWD Board held Distribution Workshop #3 to continue reviewing the different options that exist to transmit the ocean desalination water to various areas and customers in Orange County. Read More…

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OCWD Hosts GE Analytical Teaching TOC TheoryInstruments TOC User Group

OCWD’s commitment to exceptional water quality requires that it has a thorough understanding of the quality of water produced by the GWRS, as well as comprehensive knowledge of groundwater quality. To do so, staff engages in work groups with other water quality professionals to troubleshoot issues and learn about new advancements in water quality testing.

The OCWD’s Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory (AWQAL) recently hosted the 2016 GE Analytical Instruments TOC User Group in June. TOC, or total organic carbons, are used to monitor water quality and equipment efficiency of many water purification procedures.

TOC ClassThere were approximately 40 attendees from both private and public entities from within the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Discussion topics included Total Organic Carbon (TOC) theory, new instrumentation and advanced information on TOC analyses, troubleshooting, and instrument maintenance.


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Water Briefing LogoOut in the Community

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.  In fiscal year 2015-2016, nearly 400 presentations were given. We participated in the following during June:

  • •   Executive Director of Planning and Natural Resources Greg Woodside gave a presentation to the Newport Bay Watershed Executive Committee on Proposition 1 grant opportunities and on-going discussions with stakeholders regarding refining Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority’s One Water One Watershed program for Integrated Regional Water Management.

  • •   Laboratory Director Lee Yoo gave a technical presentation titled “Analytical Challenges to Monitor p-Chlorobenzene Sulfonic Acid (p-CBSA), Methadone, and PFOA/PFOS from Water Reuse Facility” to the Southern California Environmental LC/MS/MS Discussion Group. Attendees were able to discuss their current/future analytical challenges with LC/MS/MS experts.

  • •   Director of Regulatory Affairs Jason Dadakis testified before the Senate Environmental Quality Committee in support of AB 2022 (Gordon). In a 7-0 vote, the bill was passed and will now go to the Assembly floor. If passed, the bill will allow water agencies to bottle potable reused water and distribute small amounts free for educational purposes.

Read More…

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OCWD Employees

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.

Employee of the 2nd Quarter 2016 

— Lily Sanchez

Lily Sanchez

OCWD is very pleased to announce that Supervising Chemist Lily Sanchez is the Employee of the 2nd Quarter. 

The Water Quality Department recently asked for the Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory’s participation in a project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) volatile organic compound (VOC) split analysis for evaluating VOCs in the North Basin. Lily Sanchez volunteered to provide the required EPA quality assurance/quality control documents. 

From the beginning, Lily helped organize the team working directly with the project and she has kept an eye on how it progressed through the Lab.  Read More…

OCWD welcomes new employees

 Ashli Chen   Ben Rigby   Luke Sparks

Becky’s Run Raises Money for Pediatric Cancer Research

Becky MuddOrange County Water District Community Outreach and Education Coordinator Becky Mudd registered more than 400 miles on a 14-day southern Utah run from St. George, Utah, to the Colorado border to bring awareness of and funding to the fight against pediatric cancer.

Becky Mudd’s Run for Gold brought $6,855 in donations, for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF).  “Once again,Utah Governor Letter I have been reminded of all of the good and love in people’s hearts. Thank you everyone for all of your kindness and support,” says Becky.

She also received kind words from Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who thanked Becky for her effort.

Those wishing to continue supporting Becky by donating to the cause may visit her website,

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June Tours                                                

Thank you to the more than 200 guests that toured OCWD’s facilities in June:

Fountain Valley Italian ClubMembers of the Fountain Valley Senior Center Italian Club visit the GWRS—Tanti Grazie!


OCWD Director Shawn Dewane provided a tour of the GWRS to a delegation from Japan. GWRS tours were also provided to representatives from the Marisla Foundation, in association with OC Coastkeepers; Central Basin Municipal Water District’s Technical Advisory Committee;  representatives of Fountain Valley’s Senior Center Italian Club; engineering students from the University of California, Irvine; representatives from Fluor Corporation, Coca-Cola North America, and from Daegu Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea; members of the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference; nursing students from West Coast University, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton; staff from Black & Veatch and Meiden Ceramic Membrane; and members of the general public.

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.

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                                          Fountain Valley, CA 92708


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