World’s Largest Water Purification Plant Expanded | NBC Southern California
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Running Dry

Coverage of California's historic dry spell, one of the most severe droughts on record

World’s Largest Water Purification Plant Expanded

State officials gathered Friday morning to celebrate the expansion of the Groundwater Replenishment System.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    During a time of severe drought, an Orange County plant celebrated its first expansion Friday morning, which increased its daily production to 100 million gallons of purified water a day. 

    Orange County celebrated its world-renowned water purification system Friday morning, which now produces 100 million gallons of purified water a day after an expansion was completed.

    The plant was already the world’s largest, producing 70 million gallons a day, but that capacity has grown even larger with the 30 million gallon expansion that went live Friday.

    State Senators and members of the House of Representatives were part of the formal dedication.

    In the midst of California’s record-breaking drought, the Groundwater Replenishment System, a joint project of the Orange County Water Department and the Orange County Sanitation District, treats wastewater in a three-step process so it can be added back into the county’s drinking water supply.

    Not only is the GWRS an example of local water sustainability, it is also a global model for water sustainability in other communities, said a spokeswoman for the OCWD.

    The project, initially started in 2008, allotted for two eventual expansions.

    With the first 30 million gallon expansion, the plant now produces enough water for 850,000 north and central Orange County residents annually.

    The OCWD said they will continue to consider the feasibility of the final expansion to 130 million gallons of water a day.

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