OCWD Board of Directors

Cathy Green
First Vice President
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President
Philip L. Anthony
Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan M. Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Roman Reyna
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
General Manager
Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

President's Message – Testing Ensures High-Quality Drinking Water

Director Cathy Green's Photo
Every year, water retailers are mandated to provide a water quality report. You received yours during the month of June or July. It included a table of compounds and numbers that may or may not have made sense to you. Bottom line, your drinking water has gotten another clean bill of health. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes testing, preparation and collaboration that went into this valuable document. I'd like to help you better understand Orange County Water District's (OCWD; the District) role in the process.

Groundwater quality is typically high quality within the large basin managed by OCWD. Recharge basins (surface facilities like lakes and ponds that are used to increase the infiltration of surface water into a groundwater basin) and the Santa Ana River improve groundwater quality through natural percolation. OCWD's celebrated Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) purifies wastewater to near-distilled water conditions and not only increases the water supply quantity, it enhances the quality of the water in the groundwater basin further. But there can be additional influences of mankind and nature. Read More...

OCWD Establishes 2015-2016 Basin Pumping Percentage and Price

The Orange County Water District uses a unique strategy to manage the Orange County Groundwater Basin. Any retail agency, farmer, business or individual that pumps groundwater pays the Replenishment Assessment (RA) for each acre-foot (326,000 gallons) of water extracted. The RA provides most of the revenue OCWD needs to manage the groundwater basin.

OCWD controls total annual groundwater pumping with the Basin Pumping Percentage (BPP) and the Basin Equity Assessment (BEA). The BPP is calculated by dividing projected groundwater supplies by projected total water demands.

The BPP is set annually and has historically averaged about 70 percent. That is the amount set for Water Year 2015-2016, which coincides with the fiscal year, beginning in July. Therefore, those who live in north and central Orange County will be getting 70 percent of their water from local groundwater supplies and 30 percent from more costly imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River. Read More...

ADMi RO Analyzation Proves Valuable

Solid science and state-of-the-art technologies guide OCWD's decisions. Collaboration and exchange of ideas are the District's hallmarks, which have served them well to develop and build better and more efficient facilities. In keeping with those shared efforts, OCWD staff from the Research & Development (R&D) and Water Production departments recently held an online virtual meeting with representatives from Advance Data Mining International (ADMi).

Under contract with OCWD, ADMi presented the results of its initial proof-of-concept demonstration for the use of advanced statistical techniques to analyze the large GWRS process and water quality database. This was prepared for better understanding of the factors controlling the productivity of the first-stage of the GWRS reverse osmosis (RO) system. These techniques include data/signal processing, correlation, regression, sensitivity analysis, and artificial neural networks.

With a relatively small budget, ADMi produced a very comprehensive analysis that revealed both known and previously unknown operational and water quality parameters that affect RO performance. R&D and Water Production staffs are evaluating the merits of a possible follow-up study analyzing the entire RO system. The goal of a follow-up effort would be to develop a predictive RO process computer model, which could support more efficient plant operations via enhanced quantitative understanding of the effects of feedwater quality, chemical dosing, and membrane cleaning frequency.

OCWD Hosts Meetings with Water Experts to Advance Water Reuse

LADWP Independent Advisory Panel Tours GWRS
OCWD has influenced the creation of water recycling plants around the globe. Since 2008, when the Groundwater Replenishment System was launched, OCWD has shared specifications, data and analyses with professionals in the water industry.

During the month of June, OCWD hosted the Expert Panel appointed by the State Water Resources Control Board (the State Water Board) and managed by the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) to help develop criteria for surface water augmentation with recycled water and to evaluate the feasibility of developing criteria for direct potable reuse (DPR). The District also hosted a meeting of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) groundwater replenishment project. Read More...

Out in the Community

H2Orange County's Logo
As part of its standard to forge and maintain long-term, positive and proactive relationships with members of the community and be transparent about its operations and programs, OCWD board members and staff participate, regularly, at community events and speak before civic groups. We participated in the following during June:
  • OCWD General Manager Mike Markus attended the Southern California Water Committee workshop and participated in a panel regarding the watershed-wide (five SAWPA member agency) conjunctive use project that was recently awarded $55 million in grant funding through the third round of Proposition 84.
  • Director of Engineering Chris Olsen and Chief Hydrogeologist Roy Herndon attended the Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Director's meeting and presented an update on the Mid Basin Injection Project.
  • Principal Process Specialist Tom Knoell presented a paper at the AWWA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim. The paper's focus was the optimization of GWRS operations through the development of enhanced water quality profiling using non-traditional techniques.
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OCWD in the News

OCWD continues to be recognized for its leadership in the water industry. Below are a few of the recent media highlights:

OCWD Employees

OCWD's employees are its most valuable resources. It is committed to recruiting the best and enriching their lives to grow within the water industry and the District family.

Employee of the Quarter
The Employee of the Quarter and Year Program is established to recognize outstanding Orange County Water District (OCWD) employees and to acknowledge their contributions to OCWD. The program hopes to encourage quality work, process or continuous improvement, teamwork, savings, customer service, and a high level of dedication. The program recognizes that OCWD employees are the source of our strength, reputation and innovation.

Jimmy Pennella's Photo
Jimmy Pennella, Maintenance Technician II
Jimmy Pennella is the 2015 2nd Quarter - Employee of the Quarter

Jimmy Pennella's normal duties would be to maintain and repair facilities and equipment on the Fountain Valley campus in support of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). Over a six-month period, Jimmy's responsibilities were expanded to working in the auto shop until a mechanic could be hired to replace a vacated position. His actions have provided a positive transition for the District following the retirement of former Auto Mechanic Ted O'Rourke. Read More...

New Employees

The District is pleased to welcome the following employees to the team.

Amy Kreimeier is a
Natural Resources Intern
in the Natural Resources Department.

Richard Ojeda is an
Auto & Equipment Mechanic
in the Water Production Department.

June Tours

West Coast University Nursing Program Students
Thank you to the nearly 500 guests that toured OCWD's facilities in June:

Students from Godinez High School, the West Coast University Nursing Program, the Cal State Fullerton Nursing Program, UC Irvine Engineering, and Vanguard University Nursing Program; members of the State Water Resources Control Board, NWRI-LADWP Independent Advisory Panel, the Orange County Association of Realtors, American Water Works Association AWWA ACE15 Conference, the International Ecology Conference, and the Disney Green Team Task Force; staff from the City of San Diego and the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, the Los Angeles Sanitation Districts, Fluor, Wedbush Securities, CH2M Hill, the City of San Mateo; and delegates the Korean Water & Wastewater Association.

Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at
10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month; reservations are required. Tours may be scheduled for other days of the week, depending on staff availability. To schedule a tour or to request more information, please contact Becky Mudd at (714) 378-3362 or bmudd@ocwd.com. To schedule a speaker, please contact Rose Wilke at (714) 378-3206 or rwilke@ocwd.com. You may also visit www.ocwd.com to schedule these activities online.

18700 Ward Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 378-3200

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