In This Issue:
President’s Message— World’s Largest GWRS to Get Bigger!
The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Final Phase plan received a unanimous vote at the Sept. 21 OCWD Board meeting—the first step towards the project’s groundbreaking. This visionary project keeps getting bigger and better.
When completed, this second and final phase of the world’s largest advanced water purification project of its kind will bring the total water produced to 130 million gallons per day, enough to fulfill the needs of 1 million people in north and central Orange County. Budgeted at $351 million, it is expected to go online by the end of 2022. Read More…
GWRS Produces 200 Billion Gallons of Water
As California faces a fifth year of record‐breaking drought, the world’s largest water reuse project of its kind, the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), surpassed a major water production milestone when it hit the 200‐billion‐gallon mark. Implemented in January 2008, this project has brought water reliability to Orange County providing enough water for 850,000 people annually.
A joint project of the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), the GWRS had an initial production capacity of 70 million gallons of water a day (MGD) and was expanded last year to produce an additional 30 MGD. This made the world’s largest project of its kind even bigger and the districts are not stopping here. Plans for a final expansion of the GWRS are underway and pending board approval. Read More…
ACWA Region 10 Program and Tour Oct. 28
The Association of California Water Agencies Region 10 will host Advanced Water Purification: The Road to Resilience, a one-day program featuring panels of experts on advanced water purification and water supply reliability. The event takes place at the Vista Irrigation District in the city of Vista, California on Friday, Oct. 28. Registration is available until Oct. 21. A preliminary agenda is available. OCWD President Cathy Green will be a moderator and General Manager Mike Markus will be one of several panelists. An optional tour of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant will follow the program. For more information about the Association of California Water Agencies, visit www.acwa.com/.
Governor Signs Bill to Bottle GWRS Water
Governor Brown signed AB 2022 (Gordon) into law on Sept. 21, allowing bottling of advanced purified water such as that from the Groundwater Replenishment System for educational purposes. For years, GWRS water has been safely recharged into the groundwater basin and has provided 30 percent of the drinking water supply for 2.4 million people in north and central Orange County. Until now, only those fortunate to tour the GWRS facilities were able to sample the purified water. Now, the legislation allows the bottling of small amounts to expand OCWD’s educational outreach concerning the technology and safety of water reuse. Bottled water will be used for demonstration purposes only and will not be sold.
Surveys show that tours and tasting advanced purified water have positive impacts on influencing public opinion of water reuse and are effective tools to help people get over the “yuck factor.” Singapore Public Utilities Board has been successfully bottling NEWater for about a decade.
Five Coves Rubber Dam to Be Replaced
OCWD has constructed a sophisticated recharge system to replenish the groundwater basin. The District constructs earthen levees in the Santa Ana River that evenly spreads water in the river to maximize percolation and operates three rubber dams that divert river flows, including stormwater, to OCWD’s recharge system. The original Imperial Rubber Dam was purchased in 1992. It paid for itself within a few months by diverting water into the recharge system that would have, otherwise, been lost to the ocean. After 20 years in service, that rubber dam was replaced in 2014.
The Five Coves Rubber Dam, installed in 1993, is now scheduled to be replaced beginning October with completion three months thereafter. Read More…
Basin Cleaning Maximizes Stormwater Capture
Recharge basin maintenance is one of the most important factors in percolating water into the Orange County Groundwater Basin.
OCWD is currently in the process of seasonal basin cleaning, which removes the thin clogging layer of silt left at the bottom of each of the region’s more than two dozen recharge basins owned, managed and operated by OCWD. These storage facilities cover more than 1,000 acres in Anaheim and Orange.
Heavy grading equipment such as bulldozers, scrapers and motor graders will be in full force over the next month. This is all part of an aggressive approach to groundwater recharge that has evolved into an extremely effective system for maximizing the capture and replacement of limited water resources in our area. OCWD will be prepared when the rains fall again.
Adventure Tour Space Filling Quickly—Don’t Miss It!
The Groundwater Adventure Tour, a day-long expedition of the District’s facilities from the Prado Wetlands and OCWD’s recharge basins to the GWRS and Advanced Quality Assurance Laboratory, is nearing capacity but there are seats remaining. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about local water supplies and how they are managed in an environmentally, scientifically and financially sound manner. The tour takes place October 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sign up now at our website. Please note that priority will be given to individuals who have not previously attended.
Water Environment Federation Honors GWRS
The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Initial Expansion received the prestigious Water Environment Federation (WEF) Project Excellence Award. The Orange County Water District, the Orange County Sanitation District, Black & Veatch Corporation, and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. were all honored for their work on the expansion.
The award was presented during WEF’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC 2016), the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition, Sept. 24-28 in New Orleans. WEF’s annual Project Excellence Award recognizes outstanding programs and product execution in the water sector. Among other criteria, projects are evaluated on innovation, sustainability and community benefit.
WEF is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, their mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. To learn more, visit http://www.wef.org/.
Drought Workshop Oct. 19-20
The California Department of Water Resources, the National Water Research Institute and the Southern California Water Committee are hosting a public workshop, Drought Vulnerability and Tools for Improving Water Resilience, on October 19 and 20. Workshops include Status of Water Conditions in California, Predicting and Managing Precipitation in California, Sustainable Groundwater Management, Developing Water Resource Resiliency Through Innovation, and more. Registration is online. Please contact Jaime Lumia at firstname.lastname@example.org or Eileen Chao at email@example.com for questions regarding registration, travel and hotel accommodations. For questions on the program, contact Suzanne Faubl at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-378-3278.
Seeking Sponsors and Volunteers for Festival
The Orange County Water District is currently accepting applications from organizations and individuals interested in sponsoring, presenting and volunteering at the 21st annual Children’s Water Education Festival to be held March 29-30, 2017 at the University of California, Irvine. Applications are available at http://www.childrenwaterfestival.com.
The mission of the Children’s Water Education Festival is to educate students about water-related and environmental issues that correspond with California Science Standards. The Festival teaches youth that they canmake a difference in protecting our water resources and the environment for today, tomorrow and for future generations. Third, fourth and fifth grade teachers and students throughout Orange County have been invited to attend the 2017 Festival. The event will welcome 7,500 students and is recognized nationally as the largest of its kind. For additional information, please visit the event website or email email@example.com.
Community Welcomed at Open House
Nearly 1,500 people attended the Community Open House hosted by OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) in August. “This event was truly an opportunity to meet residents and business owners, answer questions and talk to them about what we’re doing to provide a reliable water supply,” said OCWD President Cathy Green. “Most people are unaware of the amazing facilities that our agencies operate which generate renewable power, compost and pure water. It’s a real eye‐opener,” stated John Nielsen, OCSD Chair.
OCSD and OCWD engineers, hydrogeologists, chemists, biologists, operators, and many more were among top industry experts available to explain the many projects the two agencies provide. The event featured a variety of games and activities for all ages. It also includes a drug take‐back program administered by the Drug Enforcement Agency, a viewing of OCWD’s newly unveiled interactive exhibit at its H20 Learning Center, and a compost giveaway. More than 600 guests went on a combined tour of OCSD’s wastewater treatment plant and the Groundwater Replenishment System facilities. Photos from the event are posted on OCWD’s Facebook page.
OCWD Participates in Habitat Conservation Plan
The Orange County Water District is active as a participating agency in the effort to develop the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that will manage land and create wildlife habitat over a large portion of the watershed tributary to Prado Dam. OCWD staff met recently with the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District), which is managing the consultant preparing the HCP. OCWD and Valley District staff are sharing data being utilized in development of the HCP.
The HCP will be a comprehensive, regional plan and will enable participants to avoid or minimize resource conflicts that delay or prevent the completion of individual proposed water management projects. Read More…
GWRS Pipeline Inspection Project Concludes
The District routinely monitors and inspects its equipment and infrastructure to sustain the safety and quality of its operations. OCWD has recently concluded a thorough inspection of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) pipeline. OCWD staff, along with Jamison Engineering, visually inspected the interior of the 13.6-mile pipeline that delivers GWRS water to the spreading basins in Anaheim.
The GWRS pipeline was previously inspected in 2014 and early signs of concrete mortar lining deterioration were detected and repaired at that time. During the current inspection, all previous repair sites were found to be in good condition. Since deterioration of the mortar lining exists, OCWD staff will inspect and repair, as necessary, on an annual basis to prevent further deterioration. Read More…
NWRI GWRS Independent Advisory Panel Meets
The annual meeting of the National Water Research Institute GWRS Independent Advisory Panel meeting was held in August at OCWD headquarters. The Panel’s periodic review of GWRS operations, water quality, and related issues is a requirement of the project’s Regional Board Permit. The meeting was attended by staff from OCWD, the Orange County Sanitation District, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Division of Drinking Water.
OCWD Assistant General Manager Mike Wehner and OCWD Executive Director of Engineering and Water Resources John Kennedy provided an extensive briefing on OCWD to the 2016-17 Orange County Grand Jury. OCWD staff from Engineering, Water Production, Research & Development, Public Affairs, and Regulatory Affairs gave presentations on a range of topics, including: GWRS Final Expansion & the joint OCSD-OCWD SP-173 Joint Effluent Reuse Study, GWRS operations and water quality, microbial monitoring, proposed Huntington Beach desalination, Mid-Basin Injection project, and special studies on Next Generation Sequencing and NDMA. The Panel will ultimately produce a report containing its findings and recommendations
Out 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. We participated in the following during August:
- • OCWD staff hosted a community meeting for Seal Beach Leisure World residents about the Alamitos Barrier Improvement Project. Approximately 20 people attended and Director Philip Anthony and Principal Hydrogeologist Dave Mark provided presentations.
- • OCWD General Manager Mike Markus and Orange County Sanitation District General Manager Jim Herberg provided a joint OCWD/OCSD presentation and GWRS tour to the Black & Veatch board of directors and executive staff.
- • OCWD General Manager Mike Markus and OCSD General Manager Jim Herberg participated in a roundtable, which was part of the Sustain OC Water Solutions Conference, about GWRS technology.
- • Laboratory Director Lee Yoo presented his technical topic “Analytical Challenges to Identify and Quantitate p-Chlorobenzene Sulfonic Acid in Wastewater” at the High Performance Liquid Chromatography in Environmental Monitoring session at the 2016 National Environment Measurement Symposium in Orange County.
OCWD in the News
OCWD continues to be recognized for its leadership in the water industry. Below are a few of the District’s recent media highlights that feature OCWD and the GWRS:
- • Times Publishing Group: Partnering is “New Norm” in Local Water World
- • Treatment Plant Operator Magazine: Water Environment Federation Announces 2016 WEF Awards
- • News Deeply: Nine Experts to Watch on California Water Reuse by Eline Gordts
- • Toledo Blade: Reverse osmosis seen as solution for toxin by Tom Henry
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.
October 5: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)
October 6: 8:00 a.m. Communications/Legislative Committee Meeting (C-2)
October 7: 7:30 a.m. Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) Meeting (Boardroom)
October 10: 5:00 p.m. Groundwater Replenishment System Steering Committee (Boardroom)
October 12: 8:00 a.m. Water Issues Committee (Boardroom)
October 13: 8:00 a.m. Administration/Finance Issues Committee (C-2)
October 19: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)
October 25: 8:00 a.m. Retirement Committee Meeting (C-2)
October 28: 12:00 p.m. Property Management Committee Meeting (C-2)
Thank you to the more than 850 guests that toured OCWD’s facilities in August:
Members of the STEMQuest Summer Institute, city of La Habra and Community United Methodist Church; students from the UCI Exchange Program (Japan) and Cal State Fullerton Exchange Program (Japan); members of the Orange County Grand Jury and Black & Veatch Board of Directors; staff members from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and BHP Billiton in Chile; Chinese and DWR/Salvadorian delegations; and members of the open house.
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 ocwaterdistrict.mystagingwebsite.com.
Photo: Members of the STEMQuest Summer Institute
CONTACT US ocwaterdistrict.mystagingwebsite.com
18700 Ward Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
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