Tours and Events
UKC is proud to offer a tour at the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) operated by OCWD (Orange County Water District), the World's Largest Wastewater Purification System for Indirect Potable Reuse.
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 high-quality water that exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards.
Operational since January 2008, this state-of-the-art water purification project can produce up to 70 million gallons (265,000 cubic meters) of high-quality water every day. This is enough water to meet the needs of nearly 600,000 residents in north and central Orange County, California.
The GWRS is the largest water purification project of its kind in the world and it:
- Has a current production capacity of 70 million gallons (265,000 cubic meters; 215 acre-feet) of water per day and a total production of 23.5 billion gallons (89 million cubic meters; 72,000 acre-feet) per year.
- Takes highly treated wastewater, that otherwise would be discharged into the Pacific Ocean, and purifies it to near-distilled-quality water, thereby creating a new, safe and reliable water supply to replenish the Orange County groundwater basin and to prevent seawater from contaminating the county's groundwater supplies.
- Cost $481 million (U.S. Dollars) to design and construct.
- Uses less than half the energy required to pump imported water from Northern California to Orange County and other parts of Southern California.
- Uses less than one-third the energy that it takes to desalinate ocean water.
- Is one of the most celebrated civil engineering and water reuse projects in the world; the GWRS has received more than 35 local, regional, national and international awards, including the 2008 Stockholm International Industry Water Award and the American Society of Civil Engineers 2009 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.
- Date and Time: Aug. 8, Wednesday, 1:00pm - 5:00pm (including travel time)
- Transportation: Bus will be provided by UKC
- Cost: Free
- Eligibility: All UKC participants and spouses who meet the security requirements (See below)
- Maximum number of tourists: limited to 40 (First-come-first-serve)
This tour is full and the registration is closed
Note: No-shows will be charged $50 during registration.
- Mr. Lee Yoo, Laboratoy Director, OCWD (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Special RequirementsGuidelines from Homeland Security require these security standards in place to protect public drinking water. One of the steps is to have an established procedure in place to accommodate visitors.
Required DocumentationU.S. visitors over the age of 18 must submit a photocopy of a government issued picture identification prior to the scheduled tour.
Dress CodeClosed toe shoes are required; high heels are not recommended. Pants/jeans/slacks are recommended and skirts/shorts are discouraged. Failure to comply with dress code requirements will prohibit one's participation in the tour.
Age RequirementTour guests must be a minimum of high school age or older. Tours are not suitable for a younger audience.
Tour/Briefing RequestsAll requests should be sent through the Tour Coordinator in the Public Affairs Department for prior approval before visit. Public Affairs Department will be responsible for processing necessary information for approval of tours. Requests should be sent to email@example.com. Once approved, the Tour Coordinator will contact you regarding the details of your tour.
International VisitorsAll international visitors must provide photocopies of passport/visa’s to Mr. Lee Yoo (firstname.lastname@example.org).
U.S./Foreign MediaU.S. and foreign media must present press credentials and valid picture identification (i.e. driver’s license or passport) in addition to the above-mentioned information. Based on the specific threat level issued by the Department of Homeland Security, tours may be cancelled without prior warning.
No tour will be accommodated without providing the above-mentioned documentation in advance.