Many Joining GetOverIt! Campaign…And Telling Others
In January of 2017, when AB2022 went into effect and allowed the bottling of advanced purified reused water for educational purposes, Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Orange County Sanitation District staff began a campaign that is gaining momentum for the acceptance of recycled water systems in the state of California. The #GetOverIt! slogan refers to the number one reason why most advanced purified water systems never get off the drawing board. The local communities can’s get past the “yuck” factor.
It’s been nearly 10 years since the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), located in Fountain Valley, Calif., came online in 2008 and there has been no local opposition to the reliable, safe, high-quality water it produces.
Before the GWRS was created, similar projects in San Diego and Los Angeles both failed.
“It took 10 years of outreach before the GWRS came online to fully gain acceptance from local, regional and national government, health professionals and our local communities,” said OCWD President Denis Bilodeau. We continue that outreach daily with a robust tour program where guests taste the final product.”
Others in the state who are trying to get similar projects off the ground are dealing with the bugaboo “toilet-to-tap” misconception that still persists. (Water from toilets is a small fraction of the wastewater purified for drinking. That purified water beats current water quality standards.)
“We had the opportunity to help potential direct and indirect potable reuse projects throughout the state and so we took the information and samples on the road and are helping squeamish and misinformed people to ‘get over it!’” said Director Bilodeau.
The two agencies have visited 15 events from San Diego to Santa Cruz where thousands of people have gathered. GWRS water was also shared with conference attendees at the Groundwater Foundation National Conference in Idaho, the Water Environment Federation’s WEFTEC conference in Chicago and the World Water-Tech North America conference in Toronto. Future events can be found on the bottled water campaign website.
It’s Your Turn to #GetOverIt!
The #GetOverIt! campaign is just starting to gain traction on social media and influencers are now taking the challenge to drink GWRS water and tell their followers. Several TV and radio broadcasters have also done so. The following are just a few who have taken the challenge. Will you?
- Kevin Westerling: @WaterOnline
- Michael E. Campana: @WaterWired
- A Martinez: KPPC Radio
- Association of California Cities—Orange County: @ACCOC
- Bri Healthy: @bri.healthy
- Water Environment Federation (WEF) President Rick Warner at WEFTEC opening session
- Dave Hovde: KSBY
- Ernie Zuniga and Breanna Barrs: News 4 San Antonio
- Attendees: TEDx Bakersfield Conference [11:15 into the video]