CA water purification plant provides public first-time opportunity to taste treated water
On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Santa Clara Valley Water District of California opened its Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center to the public, giving them a first-time opportunity to taste a sample of the highly purified water produced at the facility.
SAN JOSE, CA, Oct. 26, 2015 -- On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Santa Clara Valley Water District of California opened its Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center to the public, giving them a first-time opportunity to taste a sample of the highly purified water produced at the facility, which has been successfully purifying treated wastewater for more than a year.
While the public has been able to tour the state-of-the-art facility since it opened in March 2014, in partnership with the cities of San José and Santa Clara, they have not been able to taste the purified water -- one of the top requests that visitors have after learning about the high-tech processes involved in purification.
At the "Taste Test Challenge" station, board members and public figures kicked off the public tasting using glasses of purified water to toast the future of a reliable, locally controlled, drought-proof drinking water supply for Santa Clara County.
The advanced purification center uses the processes of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection to purify recycled wastewater. Currently, up to 8 million gallons per day is produced at the center and blended with recycled water before it is delivered to more than 800 South Bay Water Recycling customers for non-drinking uses, including irrigation and industrial uses.
At this time, the purified water is not being used for drinking purposes. However, the water district plans to use the purified water to replenish the county's groundwater basins by 2022, which will help augment overall drinking water supplies with more than 14 billion gallons per year of new local water.
An added step, advanced oxidation, was used on the sample water that visitors could taste at the open house. Advanced oxidation intensifies the UV light disinfection, providing an extra safeguard to the treatment process. Adding this to the process ensures that the purified water meets the state's Division of Drinking Water's regulations for using purified water for a groundwater replenishment program.
The water district held the open house to promote understanding of the purification process. Tours are offered year-round at the center, and Saturday's open house featured tours in English as well as Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese, and provided an opportunity for learning and fun. A kids' fun zone also provided educational activities to teach children about water and featured a performance from the popular Banana Slug String Band.
The event also included a gallery showing several short videos featuring expert commentary about the benefits of water purification for potable use in Silicon Valley. The videos were produced by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, in partnership with WateReuse Research Foundation.