Orange County Water District's PFAS Pilot Project Recognized

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The Orange County Water District has been named a California Municipal Utilities Association 2021 Resource Efficiency & Community Service Award winner, receiving first place in the small-size utility water program category for launching the nation’s largest per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pilot testing program. 

OCWD is one of nine electric utilities and water agencies recognized by CMUA for outstanding projects advancing best practices and innovative ideas in the water and power industry.

“It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of our district’s amazing employees who demonstrated ingenuity and determination,” says OCWD President Steve Sheldon. “With laser focus and lightning speed our team created innovative solutions addressing the PFAS problem. We thank our colleagues at CMUA for this prestigious award. OCWD remains steadfast in sharing our research results and best practices for mankind’s betterment.”

In December 2019, OCWD accelerated efforts to address PFAS, launching the nation’s largest pilot project to test 14 different types of treatment media — including granular activated carbon, ion exchange, and novel alternative adsorbents — with the goal of identifying reliable and cost-effective solutions to remove PFAS from water. Now in its second phase, the project is testing additional adsorbents just emerging into the marketplace.

OCWD and 10 of Orange County’s public water agencies have filed a lawsuit to ensure PFAS costs are borne by the companies that developed and manufactured PFAS and PFAS-containing products, thereby profiting from their widespread use and inevitable release to the environment, and not by ratepayers.

To learn more about how OCWD is addressing PFAS in Orange County, visit the district’s website.


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