The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) has reached a major milestone. The state-of-the-
art facility, operated by the Orange County Water District, has produced 100 billion gallons of ultrapure
water since going on-line nearly five years ago. The GWRS takes highly treated wastewater and
purifies it through a three-step process that includes microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light
with hydrogen peroxide. The result is near-distilled quality water. It is the world’s largest advanced water
purification facility of its kind, currently producing 70 million gallons of new water per day.
100 billion gallons of water is enough to cover 306,750 football fields with one foot of water and
enough to sustain 2.7 million Americans for one year (based on 100 gallons per person, per day).
The GWRS enhances existing water supplies by providing a reliable, high-quality source of water to
recharge Orange County’s groundwater basin and protect it from further degradation due to seawater
intrusion. It has also provided peak wastewater disposal flow relief and indefinitely postponed the
need for the Orange County Sanitation District to construct a new ocean outfall by recycling wastewater
flows that would otherwise be discharged to the Pacific Ocean. The basin has helped Orange County
weather multi-year droughts by stabilizing local water supplies and costs to rate payers.
For more information about the GWRS and how you can tour the internationally renowned facility,
please visit www.GWRSystem.com.