Local Government


WHAT:            A final expansion to the world’s largest water recycling facility, the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), is complete, producing 130 million gallons of water a day – enough water to serve nearly one million people in Orange County. The GWRS now recycles 100 percent of local reclaimable wastewater flows, an industry first and unheard of with other wastewater recycling projects. This expansion maximizes water recycling efforts and increases drinking water supplies for the region.

VISUALS:       Coffee, iced tea, and lemonade station made with GWRS water – first-time refreshments made with GWRS water are being offered  

  • Tours of the advanced water purification process
  • Purified water tastings and bottled GWRS water
  • Interviews with elected officials and water and wastewater professionals

WHO:              More than 300 people in attendance.  Federal officials: Representative Katie Porter (CA-47), Representative Lou Correa (CA-46), and Representative Young Kim (CA-40).  State officials: Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (District 67), Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (District 73), and Assemblyman Tri Ta (District 70) Officials from the Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District Mayors, City Managers, Elected Officials, and Representatives from Orange County cities, the County of Orange, water agencies, State Water Resources Control Board, Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Office of Governor Newsom                         

WHEN:            Friday, April 14, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  

WHERE:         Orange County Water District, 18700 Ward Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Advanced Registration Required  info@ocwd.com


Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS)

The GWRS made history when it came online in 2008, overcoming the stigma associated with these types of projects and bringing water reliability to Orange County. It started producing 70 million gallons of water per day (MGD) in January 2008, increased production to 100 MGD after an initial expansion was completed in May 2015, and since inception, has produced more than 400 billion gallons of water and counting. In 2023, the GWRS celebrated its 15th “crystal” anniversary. The facility takes highly treated wastewater from the Orange County Sanitation District (OC San) that would have previously been discharged into the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced treatment process consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide. The result is crystal-clear, high-quality water that meets all state and federal drinking water standards.

GWRS water is pumped to recharge basins in Anaheim, where it naturally percolates into the Orange County Groundwater Basin, managed by Orange County Water District, and becomes part of the drinking water supply for 2.5 million people in the north and central Orange County. GWRS water is also sent to injection wells located along Orange County’s coast to create a seawater intrusion barrier that protects groundwater supplies. It creates a new, drought-proof water supply, decreases the region’s dependence on imported water, and reduces the amount of treated wastewater sent to the ocean. For more information about the GWRS, please visit www.ocwd.com/gwrs

Orange County Water District (OCWD)

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 85% 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 about OCWD, please visit www.ocwd.com.

Orange County Sanitation District (OC San)

Orange County Sanitation District is a public agency that provides wastewater collection, treatment, and recycling for approximately 2.6 million people in central and northwest Orange County. OC San is a special district that is governed by a 25-member Board of Directors composed of 20 cities, four special districts, and one representative from the Orange County Board of Supervisors. OC San has two operating facilities that treat wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources. For more information on OC San, please visit www.ocsan.gov.

3 replies »

  1. What is the cost per gallon of water for this program? How much electricty or fossil fuel does it use per gallon of water? Is it sustainable?