The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) and the Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) won top honors at the 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers Orange County (ASCE OC) awards ceremony. The per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Treatment Plant, the nation’s largest ion exchange (IX) treatment plant, was awarded Outstanding Water Project and Project of the Year.
“We are honored to receive this recognition for the YLWD PFAS Treatment Plant,” said OCWD President Steve Sheldon. “I want to thank the OCWD and YLWD staff for their hard work and coordination with all the project partners to get the nation’s largest ion exchange treatment plant up and running.”
The YLWD PFAS Treatment Plant is one of 36 treatment facilities being constructed over the next two years. Getting treatment plants online is part of OCWD’s robust PFAS program that proactively and swiftly launched the nation’s largest PFAS pilot project. This project identified effective treatment techniques and restored the impacted water supply in the Orange County Groundwater Basin, which provides 77% of the drinking water supply for 2.5 million people in north and central Orange County.
“Every year, ASCE OC recognizes civil engineering projects and professionals for their achievements, and we are thrilled that they recognized the YLWD PFAS Water Treatment Plant with two awards,” said YLWD President J. Wayne Miller, Ph.D. “In addition to being recognized as a great engineering feat, this facility reflects our commitment to provide a safe, reliable, and cost-effective water supply to our customers.”
Located at the existing YLWD headquarters in Placentia, the PFAS Treatment Plant became operational in December 2021 and can treat up to 25 million gallons per day. It uses an IX treatment system made of highly porous resin that acts like powerful magnets that adsorb and hold onto contaminants. The plant consists of six pre-filters, 22 IX vessels, a booster pump station, and a 1000-kilowatt backup generator. The treatment process removes impurities, such as PFAS, from the water before entering the distribution system. This treatment plant enables YLWD to bring all nine impacted groundwater wells back into service and increase its use of local groundwater.
The project team for the YLWD PFAS Treatment Plant includes OCWD, YLWD, Tetra Tech, Pacific Hydrotech Corporation, AqueoUS Vets, and Carollo Engineers.
For more information on OCWD’s comprehensive PFAS program, visit the PFAS education center at https://pfas.ocwd.com/
About Orange County Water District
The Orange County Water District is committed to enhancing Orange County’s groundwater quality and reliability in an environmentally friendly and economical manner. The following cities rely on the groundwater basin, managed by OCWD, to provide 77% of their water demands: 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. For more information, visit www.ocwd.com
About Yorba Linda Water District
A “District of Distinction” for its commitment to good governance, ethics, and sound operating practices, Yorba Linda Water District serves the residents of Yorba Linda and portions of Placentia, Brea, Anaheim, and unincorporated areas of Orange County. Governed by a five-member publicly elected Board of Directors, YLWD’s mission is to provide reliable water and sewer services and protect public health and the environment while maintaining financial integrity and superior public service. It accomplishes this by embracing proven technologies, improving customer satisfaction, providing efficient and responsive operations, and ensuring reliable infrastructure.