Orange County Water District's Water Factory 21 passes water quality inspection

Orange County Water District's (OCWD) Water Factory 21 is an international water industry landmark located in Fountain Valley. Each year about 12,000 acre-feet (4 billion gallons) of purified water and deep-well water are injected underground to create a seawater barrier to project the groundwater basin.


FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Sept. 5, 2003 -- Orange County Water District's (OCWD) Water Factory 21 is an international water industry landmark located in Fountain Valley. Each year about 12,000 acre-feet (4 billion gallons) of purified water and deep-well water are injected underground to create a seawater barrier to project the groundwater basin.

The operations and water quality at Water Factory 21 are inspected to meet regulations for the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California Department of Health Services (DHS).

The 2002 and final Water Factory 21 water quality inspection again found that the purification process continued to produce high quality water throughout the year. All potential contaminants were either removed to non-detectable levels or to safe levels for drinking water.

Why has Water Factory 21 been tested each year? It purifies sewer water to drinking quality water for injection underground along the coast, which prevents seawater from intruding into Orange County's groundwater basin. In the process, part of that water eventually becomes part of our groundwater and drinking water supplies. Even though the purified water starts with highly treated wastewater, the water that comes out of the purification plant is similar in quality to bottled water.

"I am pleased that the representative for the Department of Health Services and water quality control board have again validated that OCWD has continued to produce very pure, high-quality water," said OCWD Board President Denis Bilodeau.

Pioneering work done by OCWD at Water Factory 21 has helped spawn other water purification projects around the globe, and reusing water is one way OCWD and other water providers will help meet the challenges of a future global water crisis."

The purification plant process has been modified over the years as the quality of the water coming into the plant has changed and as new constituents are identified by the DHS. Currently the plant uses lime chemical clarification, filtration, reverse osmosis membranes and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide.

Water Factory 21 remains the nation's longest running reverse osmosis wastewater treatment facility. It will be demolished next year to provide space for the new Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) System, a more advanced and larger sewer water purification system. The new GWR System, a joint project of OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District, is necessary to increase the size of the seawater barrier and to help provide a new drought-proof source of high quality water to replenish the groundwater basin. The GWR System will produce 72,000 acre-feet (23.5 billion gallons) per year of new water beginning in 2007.

The Orange County Water District (OCWD) manages and protects the huge groundwater basin underlying north and central Orange County. OCWD is a special district, separate from the County of Orange or any city government. The California Legislature created it in 1933 to oversee Orange County's groundwater basin. The groundwater basin supplies more than half of the water needs for 2.3 million residents in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Costa Mesa, 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. To learn more about water log on to www.ocwd.com.

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