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If reverse osmosis systems were nationally ranked like college sports teams, California’s South Coast Water District (SCWD) might be Number 1.

The reverse osmosis (RO) system at the District’s Groundwater Recovery Facility (GRF) filters water drawn from the brackish San Juan Basin aquifer and, along with other treatment steps, delivers it to the district’s distribution system, which serves some 40,000 customers in Dana Point, South Laguna, and parts of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

According to Steve Dishon, water production supervisor, the membranes (Toray Industries) were available to produce water 96.1 percent of the time during 2012-2013. The membranes have operated for more than two years between low-pH and high-pH cleanings with a special anti-scalant. That kind of performance earned the facility the 2013 Plant of the Year Award from the Southwest Membrane Operators Association.