Groundwater replenishment system receives international honor

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FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA, Sept. 30, 2009 -- The Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) System was honored recently by the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) with the 2008 UV Engineering Project of the Year Award in recognition of its innovation and vision, and lasting impact it has had as an example of how to integrate ultraviolet advanced oxidation technology into a water reclamation process train.

The GWR System, a joint project of the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), is a state-of-the-art water recycling facility that became fully operational in January 2008. The GWR System is the world's largest advanced water purification facility of its kind, serving as a model for global water recycling projects. It takes highly treated sewer water and purifies it through a three-step process that includes microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light (UV) with hydrogen peroxide, resulting in near-distilled quality water. The facility produces enough new water to meet the needs of 500,000 people.

The award was presented at the IUVA 5th World Congress held in Amsterdam. The Congress provides academics, regulators, utilities and industry professionals with current information and valuable perspectives on industrial processes, drinking water treatment, wastewater, water reuse and emerging contaminants.

OCWD treats the water with UV and hydrogen peroxide (HP) as an additional safety measure following microfiltration and reverse osmosis. The UV/HP process provides photolysis that breaks down trace organic compounds and creates an advanced oxidation process that further destroys other trace organics in the water. The UV/HP system destroys low molecular weight trace organics such as NDMA (n-nitrosodimethylamine) and 1,4-Dioxane. The GWR System employs about 4,000 low-pressure, high-intensity 250-watt lamps manufactured by Trojan UV.

Among its many awards, the GWR System has been honored with the prestigious Stockholm Industry Water Award and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.

About Orange County Water District
Orange County Water District (OCWD) manages the large groundwater basin that underlies north-central Orange County that provides most of the water for more than 2.3 million citizens. OCWD is committed to enhancing Orange County's groundwater quality and reliability in an environmentally friendly manner. With more than 75 years of prudent planning and careful investment, OCWD has doubled the sustainable yield of the groundwater basin. OCWD is a special district established by the California State Legislature in 1933 and governed by a 10-member board of directors. Separate from the County of Orange, OCWD supplies water to residents in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda. Go to for information.

About Orange County Sanitation District
The Orange County Sanitation District is a public agency responsible for safely collecting and treating wastewater (sewage) for 2.5 million people. OCSD beneficially reuses and recycles the treated wastewater and other resources resulting from the treatment process. It is a special district established by the California State Legislature and governed by a 25-member board of directors. The directors are comprised of elected representatives for each of the sewer agencies or cities within OCSD's 471-square mile service area. Go to for information.

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