President’s Message—MBI Receives Two Top Engineering Awards
If you have visited the Heritage Museum or Centennial Park in Santa Ana recently, you may have noticed construction equipment and activity. They are part of the Orange County Water District’s (OCWD; the District) Mid Basin Centennial Park Injection Well Project (MBI).
Set to be complete in 2019, the project will inject purified water from the Groundwater Replenishment System, the world’s largest advanced purification project for potable reuse, into the principal aquifer and provide an additional source of water to replenish the Orange County Groundwater Basin.
As the OCWD board member appointed to represent the constituents of Santa Ana, I am honored to share the news that this project has recently received two outstanding engineering awards. It was recognized with the Water Treatment Project of the Year Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers—Orange County Branch (ASCE OC). The 2.5-year $29.5 million MBI project also received the Orange County Engineering Council (OCEC) Project Achievement Award.
The MBI will be completed in fall 2019 and will provide up to 10 million gallons per day of water to fill the Basin; enough water for up to 85,000 people. It is a solution that addresses a local groundwater depression in the central part of the Orange County Groundwater Basin (Basin), which currently provides about 77 percent of the water supply to more than 2.5 million residents.
Filling this depression will help minimize pumping costs paid by water agencies served by OCWD because the water will not have to be sent to its recharge basins in Anaheim. Additional project benefits include decreasing the threat of seawater contamination, reducing the potential for upwelling of deeper amber-tinted water and freeing up some storage space in the Basin near Anaheim to recharge other sources of eventual drinking water, such as more imported water and stormwater, when available.
The District will continue to invest in and implement fiscally sound water reliability projects to ensure an adequate water supply for the millions of people in our service area.
Implemented in 2008, the GWRS produces 100 MGD of advanced purified drinking water and is the primary and most reliable source used to refill the Basin. A 30 MGD final expansion of the GWRS will come online in 2023 and the MBI project supports this expansion because it helps get more water in the ground.
The MBI project includes the construction of four injection wells, two monitoring wells, approximately 5,700 linear feet of supply pipeline, and approximately 4,200 linear feet of backflush pipeline. Construction phasing and communication were critical to the success of this project because its footprint impacted many stakeholders. The District began meeting with stakeholders long before the project broke ground, continues to meet regularly and maintains ongoing communication to minimize impacts to the community and address questions and concerns. Public outreach is a key part of all District projects. The MBI project scope was able to include improvements that will be made to Centennial Regional Park and the Heritage Museum of Orange County for the public to enjoy.
The success of the project is also a result of the project team members that were contracted by the Orange County Water District. The team includes: Tetra Tech, Inc., design engineer; Butier Engineering, Inc. and Geotechnical Consultants, Inc., construction management; the primary contractor, Pacific Hydrotech Corporation; and the well contractor, Best Drilling and Pump, Inc.
For more information about ASCE OC, please visit www.asceoc.org and to learn more about OCEC, please visit www.ocec.org/.
Vicente Sarmiento, Esq.