CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) recognized the Orange County Water District (OCWD) groundwater replenishment system with a Centenary Award in the Major Civil Engineering Projects category. The award honors projects and individuals having made significant contributions to the industry over the past 100 years. FIDIC presented the trophies at a centenary conference in Barcelona, Spain, on September 16.
OCWD and Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) implemented the innovative solution for providing safe drinking water to the citizens and businesses in Orange County, Calif., in 2007. Designed by CDM Smith, the groundwater replenishment system (GWRS) — the largest operating advanced water purification facility in the world — produces potable quality water from highly treated wastewater.
Since the project was completed, the GWRS has won numerous awards highlighting its innovative technology and its role in sustainable water management. Meanwhile, the high-quality water produced by the system continues to exceed state and federal water standards. By moving beyond treating recycled water for agriculture or landscape irrigation and purifying it to drinking water quality, GWRS has set the standard for other recycled water projects. It has been visited by more than 18,000 industry professionals from more than 20 countries including the United States, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Germany, South Korea, Canada, and China, where similar projects are underway or being considered.