Know Your H20, Water Recycling
March 31 2011

Orange County to Expand Wastewater Recycling System

by Rick Wilson

Orange County Water District has announced that they will expand their award-winning wastewater recycling system, increasing its capacity from 70 million gallons per day (MGD) to 100 MGD.  This is good news for the local water supply reliability and good news for the ocean.

The benefits of the expanded system include:

  • Provides Southern California with up to 31,000 AFY source of new, high quality water to meet the needs of 250,000 residents annually.
  • Decreases California’s dependency on the State Water Project and Colorado River water.
  • Produces water at one-half the energy currently required to import water into Orange County and one-third the energy to desalinate seawater, making the GWRS water more energy efficient than imported water or ocean desalination.
  • Decreases the amount of wastewater discharged to the Pacific Ocean. By treating peak wet weather storm events, the GWRS postpones the need for OCSD to construct a new ocean outfall.
  • Creates a new water source for multiple purposes including residential and industrial use, and preventing seawater intrusion into the groundwater basin.
  • Improves the quality of the water in the groundwater basin.
  • Diversifies water supplies in Southern California, minimizing negative impacts resulting from current and future limitations on imported water supplies and/or natural disasters and droughts.

Way to go Orange County Water District!

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