Company:
Orange County Water District (OCWD)
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Water Project of the Year
Additional Files
sign hand-painted by client representative and engineer of record
pump station housing during construction
overall basin during construction
Additional Information

Orange County Water District La Palma Groundwater Recharge Basin

Project Location:

Anaheim, California

Project Description:

The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) is a water supply project jointly sponsored by Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) that supplements existing water supplies by providing a new, reliable, high-quality source of water to recharge the Orange County Groundwater Basin (the Basin), to protect it from degradation due to seawater intrusion, and to provide a water source for industrial uses.

In 2014, OCWD was awarded a $2,860,540 Proposition 1 Water Recycling Grant for the La Palma Recharge Basin Project (project)—which joins the more than 20 facilities in the GWRS. OCWD purchased land in the Anaheim Forebay for La Palma Basin approximately one-half mile south of Miraloma Basin—strategically adjacent the GWRS Pipeline that terminates at Kraemer-Miller-Miraloma Basins. The 17.7-acre La Palma Basin is designated primarily for recharge of GWRS purified recycled water.

OCWD staff obtained regulatory approval from the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) for GWRS recharge at La Palma Basin as a part of the GWRS permit that was amended for the GWRS Initial Expansion.
The La Palma project involved excavating and exporting of approximately 250,000 cubic yards of sandy soil from the project site, constructing a dewatering pump station and building a 48-inch water supply pipeline to connect the newly constructed basin to OCWD’s existing Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) distribution pipeline.

Project Justification:

Upon project completion in November 2016, La Palma Basin will receive more than 45 million gallons of high-quality water per day from the GWRS, the world’s largest water recycling plant for indirect potable reuse. This is enough water to meet the daily water needs of more than 387,000 people—roughly 12% of the Orange County population.

La Palma Basin will be the only OCWD basin plumbed exclusively for GWRS water and is designed as a dual basin—the water level can be lowered so the basin can be operated as two separate entities—which will help facilitate basin cleaning while continuing to receive flows.  The flow control structure allows great flexibility in operating the two sides independently.

Additionally, the basin will be open to the public as a walking trail. This community feature includes a decorative fence and landscaping in the form of a vegetated swale, which treats all runoff before its diverted back into the basin—eliminating discharge.

Special Circumstances:

OCWD purchased the 17.7-acre property for the basin from a developer which purchased the land from Boeing. Formerly occupied office buildings, laboratories, and proprietary testing facilities onsite were demolished as part of this project.  An extensive environmental investigation and exploration took place between each land ownership transfer as Boeing could not be held liable for any pollution that may be found in the property.

Engineer of record, Kevin Brandt, and client representative, Benjamin Smith, volunteered weekend time to hand paint the 6ft diameter concrete stamped logo. This notion of personal commitment is a demonstration of their passion for providing the Orange County community with detailed-oriented service—being cost-effective and still aesthetically on point.

OCWD asked the Anaheim Public Utilities department to relocate two wooden power poles with associated guy anchoring systems from the center portion of the property to a new steel pole in the corner of the property.  The relocation of the poles provides a greater recharge area for the Basin, with an estimated return on investment of only 2 years. 

The Basin is fed water by a single 48-inch pipeline from the existing GWRS distribution pipeline.  One of the challenges in the project’s design was to design a pump station that could pump water out of the basin back into the GWRS pipeline and overcome the residual pressure of the line.  The pumped discharge can also be sent from one side of the Basin to the other or to the adjacent Carbon Canyon Creek Diversion to be used a downstream OCWD recharge facilities.  In order to facilitate the dual basin concept, allow pumping from side to the other, and feeding water to one or both sides at the same time, the flow control structure had to be methodically planned out with multiple stories, sluice gates, and integration with the air-gap structure.

Geotechnical explorations of the site indicated that the top 2 to 7 seven feet consisted of mixed silty-sand material with various gradations of sand below.  OCWD was interested in keeping the sandy material only for use with future projects.  The project specifications were written to allocate the upper portions of mixed material to the contractor, and the lower portions to be delivered to other OCWD properties.

Project Attachments:

n/a

Award Citation::

The 17.7-acre La Palma Basin will receive more than 45 million gallons of high-quality water per day from OCWD’s Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS)—enough to meet the daily water needs of roughly 12% of the Orange County population. The project involved excavating and exporting of approximately 250,000 cubic yards of sandy soil from the site, and constructing a dewatering pump station and 48-inch water supply pipeline to connect La Palma to the existing GWRS distribution pipeline.

Suggested Award Summary:

With California in a severe drought, every drop of water counts.
Groundwater recharge is a vital part of the water cycle—one that is threatened in Orange County due to seawater intrusion and the ongoing drought. Consequently, the Orange County Water and Sanitation Districts collaborated to sponsor the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS)—the world’s largest water recycling plant for indirect potable reuse. This water supply project supplements existing supplies with a new, reliable, high-quality source of water to recharge the Orange County Groundwater Basin (the Basin), and provides a water source for industrial users.
In 2014, OCWD was awarded a $2,860,540 Proposition 1 Water Recycling Grant for the La Palma Recharge Basin Project (project)—which joins the more than 20 facilities in the GWRS. OCWD purchased land in the Anaheim Forebay for La Palma Basin approximately one-half mile south of Miraloma Basin—strategically adjacent the GWRS Pipeline that terminates at Kraemer-Miller-Miraloma Basins. The 17.7-acre La Palma Basin is designated primarily for recharge of GWRS purified recycled water.
The La Palma project involved excavating and exporting of approximately 250,000 cubic yards of sandy soil from the project site, constructing a dewatering pump station and building a 48-inch water supply pipeline to connect the newly constructed basin to OCWD’s existing Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) distribution pipeline.

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