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.

Southern California Edison
Presents OCWD with Grant Award

The Orange County Water District received a $500,000 Savings by Design grant award from Southern California Edison (SCE) for energy-saving strategies that were incorporated into the design of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Initial Expansion, scheduled to come online in 2015.

SCE's Savings By Design awards are granted to local businesses that incorporate smart, energy-saving designs into long-term facility planning.

A joint project of OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District, the GWRS takes highly treated wastewater that would have previously been discharged into the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced treatment process consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide. The process produces 70 million gallons a day (MGD) of high-quality water that meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. When the Initial Expansion is completed the total water production will increase to 100 MGD, enough water for 850,000 people annually.

Having operated the GWRS since January 2008, OCWD staff created a design for the expansion that built upon the success of the initial project while also enhancing operational, energy and cost efficiencies. One of the most notable changes to the design was the energy recovery process associated with the upgraded reverse osmosis (RO) system.

The RO system will include energy recovery devices that capture energy normally lost when water is released through a throttling valve from a high pressure system. The system will capture the energy by use of turbines that resemble the configurations on an automotive turbo charger. It's anticipated that the high-tech energy recovery system will save 14 million kilowatt hours and $ 1.3 million annually for the life of the system. Another benefit of this device is its corresponding reduction in CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at 14 million pounds per year.

"We are very proud to soon bring the GWRS Initial Expansion online to increase water reliability for the region in an energy-efficient manner," said OCWD President Cathy Green. "The District appreciates the long-standing collaboration with SCE on grant awards like this and other efforts to better manage our energy consumption and its associated cost," she added.

At OCWD's Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, December 17, SCE representatives James Passmore and Corey Semrow presented a ceremonial $500,000 check to the District's directors commemorating the Savings By Design grant award.

Another important element of the District's energy management program is its participation in Demand Response. This program offers a financial incentive to OCWD to reduce energy consumption during hours of peak demand to relieve stress on the grid and the environment. OCWD will continue to do its part to implement energy efficiency, while also fulfilling its commitment to provide an adequate, reliable and high-quality water supply to local water retailers at the lowest reasonable cost and in an environmentally responsible manner.