World’s Largest Advanced Water Purification System Partners with CH2M and Desalitech to Optimize RO Performance at Orange County Water District

Fountain Valley, CA — November 29, 2016 – Orange County Water District (OCWD) has awarded Desalitech and CH2M a contract for the purchase of a ReFlex Max pilot system and a six-month pilot study. The objective of the study is to evaluate Desalitech’s Closed Circuit Desalination (CCD) technology for treatment of reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate, with the goal of maximizing overall water recovery, minimizing the volume of concentrate that must be disposed of, and reducing energy consumption. The testing will be completed at the 100 MGD Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) in Fountain Valley, California where recovery of the current three-stage RO system is limited to 85%. “OCWD plans to expand the facility to 130 MGD in the near future, which means that at 85% recovery, we’ll be disposing of about 23 MGD of concentrate. Technologies like CCD could allow us to recover more of that water,” says Megan Plumlee, R&D Director at OCWD.

The GWRS is the world’s largest advanced water purification system of its kind for potable reuse. The system takes treated municipal wastewater that would otherwise be discharged to the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced purification process consisting of microfiltration, RO and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide. The process produces high-quality water that meets or is superior to all state and federal drinking water standards. The water is used to recharge the Orange County Groundwater Basin as a drinking water supply via surface spreading and injection into coastal wells as a seawater intrusion barrier. GWRS water is a highly reliable source, even during times of drought.
“As a leader in the implementation of RO technology for municipal and industrial clients, CH2M recognizes the potential for the Desalitech CCD technology to be a game changer for a wide range of desalination applications and in particular for increasing RO energy efficiency and water recovery in a reliable manner while reducing the costs associated with concentrate management. We look forward to partnering with Desalitech and OCWD in pilot testing of CCD for concentrate recovery at the GWRS,” says Jim Lozier, P.E., Global Technology Leader – Desalination, CH2M.

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