Expansion of world's biggest water reuse system in Orange County now complete

The water reuse project can now produce up to 130 million gallons of purified water a day.
Sunday, April 16, 2023
ORANGE COUNTY (KABC) -- The world's largest water recycling plant just got even bigger.

The final expansion of Orange County Water District's Groundwater Replenishment System has been completed.

"That's a great accomplishment for Orange County because now, we're recycling all of available recyclable wastewater flows and we're also replenishing the local aquifer, which is the main source of water for 2.5 million people," said OCWD's executive director of operations Mehul Patel.

The water reuse project can now produce up to 130 million gallons of purified water a day.

Rep. Katie Porter with California's 47th congressional district said it creates a drought-proof drinking water supply for more than a million people.

"This Groundwater Replenishment System is an investment; it's an investment in the future of Orange County and it's a step toward a more sustainable and resilient future," Porter said.

Patel said even though California may be on track to get out of a severe drought because of all the rain this season, its mission remains the same.

"One good year of rain won't help us recover from over 10 years of ongoing drought," said Patel. "So, it is a good news story for this year but we need bank as much water as we can going forward, and this project will always be a part of the mix that we need for having enough water supply for north Orange County."

Congressman Lou Correa, representative of the state's 46th district, said anyone looking to fight the current climate crisis can look at this system and know that it works.

"Thank you, Orange County for showing the rest of the world how to get it done," Correa said.

Patel added their Groundwater Replenishment System has become a model for other cities like San Diego, L.A. and Santa Cruz, who are looking to build one just like this.

However, he asks all residents to continue to conserve water.

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