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Construction Complete on Pipeline to Expand Protection of Orange County's Groundwater Basin from Seawater Intrusion

Monday February 2, 2004

Fountain Valley, CA - The Orange County Water District (OCWD) announced today that construction on a pipeline that helps provide additional protection to Orange Countys large groundwater basin from saltwater intrusion has been completed.

The pipeline, which runs from Ellis Avenue and Ward Street in Fountain Valley to Adams Avenue near the Santa Ana River, has been built as part of the Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) System, an innovative project designed to deliver a new supplemental source of high quality water to Orange County users. The 9,000 feet of new pipeline is currently delivering 4 million gallons of water per day to the seawater barrier.

OCWD has protected Orange Countys underground basin from ocean intrusion for the past 25 years by purifying sewer water to drinking water standards and injecting it into the groundwater basin to keep the seawater from intruding into the groundwater basin.

"The new pipeline is one of a number of projects OCWD is working on to protect our underground drinking water supply from saltwater intrusion, said Denis Bilodeau, president of the Orange County Water District Board of Directors. We are committed to expanding the seawater barrier to help maintain this precious natural resource for future generations."

The GWR System will take treated sewer water that is currently released into the ocean and purify it through microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide advanced oxidation treatment. The purified water will become part of a seawater barrier and also be pumped through a 13-mile pipeline to percolation ponds in Anaheim where it will seep into deep aquifers and blend with Orange Countys other sources of groundwater, following the same natural filtering path rainwater takes through the ground.

More information on the Groundwater Replenishment System can be found by visiting www.gwrsystem.com.



Source: OCWD