Green Acres Project

OCWD's Green Acres Project (GAP) is a water reuse effort that provides recycled water for landscape irrigation at parks, schools and golf courses; industrial uses, such as carpet dying; toilet flushing; and power generation cooling.  

Due to the growing demand for water, drought conditions, financial expense of alternative water sources, and mandates from the California government, recycled water should be used for irrigation, industrial, and other non-potable uses, when available, to reduce demand for higher quality drinking water.  The use of recycled water in Orange County also reduces the amount of water extracted from the groundwater basin, reduces the amount of imported water, and reduces the potential for seawater intrusion into local supplies.

Since 1991, the GAP has provided an alternate source of water to the cities of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Ana.  There are approximately 100 different sites currently using GAP water including: Mile Square Park and Golf Courses, Costa Mesa Country Club, Mount Olive Memorial Park, Centennial Park, Big Canyon Country Club, Newport Beach Country Club, Hyundai Motor America, Chroma Systems, IKEA, Kaiser Permanente, Plaza Tower, Caltrans, OC Performing Arts Center, South Coast Plaza, and Orange County Sanitation District.
The total annual demand for GAP water in fiscal year 2016-17 was approximately 3,566 acre-feet (1.16 billion gallons), which equals 3.18 million gallons per day (MGD). 

The GAP has a treatment plant design capacity of 7.5 MGD of recycled water. OCWD receives secondary treated wastewater effluent from the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) for use in both the Groundwater Replenishment System and the GAP system. For the GAP system, the OCSD flows are treated to a tertiary level (Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations) by mixing in coagulant, passing though flocculation paddles, filtration through dual-media beds (sand and anthracite), and finally spending time in a chlorine contact chamber before being discharged to a storage reservoir.

The GAP distribution system consists of two separate pump stations, two reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of 7.5 million gallons, approximately 37 miles of OCWD owned pipelines, a dedicated service pipeline to OCSD Plant #2, and an intertie pipeline to Irvine Ranch Water District’s (IRWD) recycled water distribution system. Click here to view a map of the GAP pipeline.

OCWD produces and distributes GAP water to local water retail agencies, which in turn sell the water to the customer. Businesses and residents of Orange County can purchase recycled water from their local water retailer. Check with your local water retailer about the possibility of connecting to the GAP distribution system and for available financial reimbursement programs to help offset capital investment.