Black & Veatch Corporation

Alternative water supply expansion for Southern California earns top industry honor


Source: Black & Veatch Corporation

Black & Veatch design provides water security, added supply and sustainability for Orange County

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas -- The Orange County Water District’s Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Initial Expansion project, a Black & Veatch-designed alternative water supply system that bolsters water security for a large portion of Southern California, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Water Environment Federation (WEF) Project Excellence Award.

The award will be presented during WEF’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC 2016), the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition, Sept. 24-28 in New Orleans. WEF’s annual Project Excellence Award recognizes outstanding programs and product execution in the water sector. Among other criteria, projects are evaluated on innovation, sustainability and community benefit.

The $142 million expansion, completed in 2015, adds 30 million gallons per day (MGD) of capacity to Orange County’s Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), the world’s largest planned indirect potable reuse system. The AWPF takes wastewater treated to secondary levels from the Orange County Sanitation District’s neighboring Fountain Valley Plant No. 1 and uses a state-of-the-art process to produce ultra-pure water that meets or exceeds state and federal drinking water standards. The system now produces enough new water for about 850,000 people at significantly lower costs than water supplies imported from the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California State Water Project.

“The GWRS Initial Expansion is a prime example of resilient and holistic water planning,” said Cindy Wallis-Lage, President of Black & Veatch’s water business. “This is a locally controlled, essentially drought-proof system that brings reliability and supply security to the Orange County region. To expand this facility’s production while other sources of supply around the state were being restricted due to extreme, prolonged drought truly shows the power of alternative water supply solutions such as water reclamation and water reuse.”

In addition to raising capacity from 70 to 100 MGD, the project presented opportunities to reduce operating costs by optimizing system performance. Flow equalization, energy recovery devices and a new corrosion-minimizing lime system were implemented to help the GWRS operate more efficiently.

Construction of the original GWRS was jointly funded by both the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District.

About WEF
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. To learn more, visit

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2015 were US$3 billion. Follow us on and in social media.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Alternative water supply expansion for Southern California earns top industry honor. Be the first to comment!