Orange County Water District Receives Two Reclamation Grants for Water Purification Research

Orange County Water District (OCWD) was recently notified by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation that they are to receive $350,00 for two of their Water Purification Research projects. Reclamation has selected 16 research projects to receive a total of $3.5 million under the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR).

The two OCWD projects Reclamation has selected include a partnership with Trussell Technologies, Inc. to research novel online surrogates to monitor reverse osmosis (RO) performance in water reuse applications. Trussell Technologies is an environmental engineering firm, headquartered in Pasadena, focused on process and water quality. The second OCWD project Reclamation is helping to fund involves a partnership between OCWD and the University of California, Riverside to develop innovative water reuse systems harnessing chloramine photochemistry for potable water reuse.

“OCWD’s research and development staff research promising new technologies to improve water quality and increase efficiencies in water purification and groundwater recharge operations,” stated OCWD President Denis Bilodeau. “They conduct applied research to evaluate technologies and develop new processes and methods, often through collaboration with top universities and leading experts. We are very honored to be awarded this funding to help make further advancements in potable reuse.”

The first project — the RO project – has been awarded $150,000 and will be conducted at OCWD via field testing in the OCWD RO facility. When purifying water for potable reuse, pathogen removal credit for RO systems is dependent upon proving continuous integrity of the membranes, usually through online monitoring of a surrogate for virus rejection. In order to obtain greater log removal credits, new surrogates are necessary. The results of this testing will be key to lowering barriers to potable reuse, which serves the DWPR’s goal of increasing water supplies by treating impaired and otherwise unusable waters. The study if projected to take 18 months with a target completion date in February 2020.

After receiving Reclamation’s grant of $200,00 OCWD and the University of California, Riverside will work to develop innovative water reuse systems harnessing chloramine photochemistry for potable water reuse. The overall goal is to increase water supply and reduce operational costs, energy consumption and environmental impacts of water reuse systems. The two partners will be working at the pilot-scale level, to allow for testing of the technical, practical and economic viability of a process in a manner representative of a larger scale. The testing will be conducted at OCWD. The 24-month project is estimated for completion in September 2020.

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