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Thursday February 19, 2004

CA: Water Pipeline Project Under Way in Orange County

Source:Orange County Water District

Fountain Valley, CA  The Orange County Water District (OCWD) broke ground on one segment of a 13-mile pipeline that will connect a state-of-the-art water purification facility in Fountain Valley to an existing percolation pond in Anaheim.  The pipeline is part of the Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) System, an innovative water purification project designed to provide a new supplemental source of high quality water to Orange County residents.

The GWR System will take highly treated sewer water that is currently released into the ocean and - using that same technologies that purify food, medicines and bottled water - create a new supply of very high quality water to use in a seawater intrusion barrier and to augment groundwater supplies.  The water purification technologies used in the advanced water purification plant will include microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide advanced oxidation treatment. The water not used in the seawater barrier will be pumped through the pipeline to Anaheim where it will be emptied into OCWD's Kraemer percolation basin to be further filtered and purified through the ground, following the same natural path rainwater takes through the ground.

The pipeline is being set under the existing pedestrian trail on the west side of the Santa Ana River. The pipe will be buried and the trail will be restored after construction.  Beginning in Fountain Valley, the pipeline will carry the purified from the new water purification plant in Fountain Valley to an existing recharge basin called Kraemer basin at the corner of Kraemer Boulevard and Miraloma Avenue in Anaheim.  This segment of the pipeline will consist of installing approximately 21,000 linear feet of 66 and 60-inch diameter cement mortar-lined and coated steel pipe from Katella Avenue to the Kraemer recharge basin in the City of Anaheim.

"This pipeline is Orange County's pure water super highway," said Denis Bilodeau, president of the Orange County Water District Board of Directors.   "It is a critical component in providing future water supplies to more than 140,000 families in central and north Orange County.  Orange County's current water supply is made up of about 50 percent groundwater and 50 percent imported water from the Colorado River and Northern California."  

The pipeline will be complete in 2006.  The GWR System will begin delivering water via the pipeline in 2007.  Both the pipeline and the purification plant are built to handle additional purified water in the future, if needed by Orange County.

The project will help increase water reliability in Orange County. It will also help improve the overall water quality in the groundwater basin by reducing the mineral content of Orange County's groundwater.  The purified water will be used to help prevent ocean water from contaminating the large groundwater basin. Additionally, it will provide a reliable supply of water during droughts, a reoccurring event in Southern California.  The GWR System saves energy since the purified water can be produced with one-half the energy required to bring water to Orange County from Northern California.

Jenny Wedge
Orange County Water District