Member Spotlight

OCSD Touts ‘Utility of the Future' Recognition

ocsd-annual-reportOCSD was recognized by the “Utility of the Future Today Program” (UOTF) in August 2016 for its progressive programs, initiatives, and business practices—an honor OCSD prominently reflected in its Annual Report.

Among OCSD’s successes, programs and initiatives, a Time Magazine article entitled, “What Will It Take to Rebuild America?“ highlighted OCSD for treating more than 185 million gallons of wastewater per day—recycling more than half the total. And during a coordinated process with the Orange County Water District, OCSD strained the collected water through microscopic filters, forcing it through membranes via reverse osmosis, and then bombarding it with high-intensity ultraviolet light. 

“What flows out,” the Time article continues, “…in volumes sufficient to meet the daily demands of roughly 850,000 people, is as pure as a sparkling glass of premium ice water. Pumping stations return it to the Orange County aquifer to percolate into wells for future drinking. The process costs less, and consumes less energy, than importing water from the Colorado River.”

Regarding the UOTF recognition, OCSD Chair John Nielsen says, “We are progressively moving closer to our goal of 100 percent recycling.” OCSD reports that they will continue to move forward, focusing on the areas of safety and security, succession planning, resource recovery, reliability and operational optimization in the coming year.

The Utility of the Future Today recognition program, administered by a partnership of NACWA, the Water Environment Federation, the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and the WateReuse Association—with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—recognizes the progress and exceptional performance of wastewater utilities who “transform the traditional wastewater treatment system to a community-based resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.”