Orange County Branch Newsletter

November 2022


Yorba Linda Water District PFAS Treatment Plant Tour

By Jenny Robinet, MS, PE, CFM | EWRI Chair

ASCE OC EWRI received an in-depth and informative tour of the Nation’s Largest Ion Exchange PFAS Water Treatment Plant right here in Orange County! The PFAS Treatment Facility at the Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) removes per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from local well water. PFAS groups are being detected in more and more water supplies throughout the United States, stemming from consumer product usage with a chemical substance. To combat PFAS found in the Orange County Groundwater Basin, which supplies 77% of the water supply to 2.5 million people in north and central Orange County, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and the YLWD worked together to construct the ion exchange treatment facility to ensure federal and state drinking water standards are met. This way, Orange County can continue to rely on groundwater for its primary water supply.

The facility tour began with a presentation by Chris Olsen (OCWD) and Danielle Logsdon (YLWD). They described the partnership of OCWD and YLWD, with Yorba Linda Water District being one of 19 OCWD water providers with wells pumping groundwater from the Orange County Groundwater Basin. The presence of high levels of PFAS in all 10 of the YLWD wells prompted immediate action. Chris and Danielle guided attendees through the process of developing the treatment system, including the planning study and pilot testing, which occurred in 2019 before design and construction in 2020 and 2021. The plant is operated by the YLWD and the OCWD and uses an IX treatment system made of highly porous resin, which attracts and holds onto the PFAS contaminants. It has pre-filters and ion exchange vessels, a booster pump station, backup generators, and chlorination facilities, and it can treat 25 million gallons per day. Following the presentation, attendees could get an up-close look at the ion exchange vessels and overall treatment system, asking questions of the operators and observing the various system components.

As one of 35 different treatment facilities being planned and constructed in Orange County in the next few years and the largest ion exchange treatment facility in the nation, the facility tour gave ASCE OC EWRI a chance to learn about and observe a critical treatment system at the forefront of the response to PFAS in the water supply.

Attendees learning about the various components and operations of the PFAS Treatment Facility
(Photo Credit: Malissa Muttaraid, YLWD)

Yorba Linda Water District PFAS Treatment Plant Tour Attendees
(Photo Credit: Malissa Muttaraid, YLWD)

About the Author:

Jenny Robinet is a Project Manager at PACE Advanced Water Engineering. She is a dedicated member of ASCE EWRI, and has been an active member for the past 10 years. Jenny loves being involved in EWRI and the ASCE Orange County Branch, and enjoys attending events and meeting people in the industry.


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