OCWD PFAS Update
October 4, 2019
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) and all water agencies in its service area operate their water systems in compliance with all state and federal guidelines and regulatory requirements. We strive to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to 2.5 million customers.
Overview
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) strives to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to 2.5 million customers every day. OCWD and the water agencies in its service area are committed to operating in compliance with all state and federal guidelines and regulatory requirements.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are chemicals that are prevalent in the environment and were once commonly used in many consumer products. Through an ongoing investigation, California and many other states have found that PFAS have made their way into our groundwater, particularly near airports and military bases where these chemicals are commonly used.

OCWD and local water retailers are actively engaged with federal and state regulators and elected and appointed officials on this issue. As part of its commitment to transparency, OCWD provides regular PFAS updates to community stakeholders. 

For more background information, please see the materials below:


Other Resources:
Regulatory Happenings
The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) is hosting a two-day seminar and concurrent Datathon on PFAS. Topics will include PFAS chemistry and toxicology, site investigation challenges, remedial technologies, current PFAS regulations and orders in California, product stewardship, and case studies. Speakers invited include representatives from the State Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Department of Defense, local and non-governmental organizations, research organizations, and others.

Data scientists are invited to work alongside PFAS experts during the Datathon to develop data schema and answer broader PFAS questions. All findings will be shared on the second day to close out the summit. This is a free event and you may register at  https://CAPFASsummit2019.eventbrite.com . OCWD staff will attend the workshop. 

It is also anticipated that a science webinar on PFAS will take place sometime this fall.   
Local Activities
OCWD’s pilot program for PFAS treatment options continues to move forward. It’s anticipated both the lab- and pilot-scale testing will be conducted in parallel, with the pilot testing likely to begin later in October and the bench/lab testing in late October or November. For the pilot, building and pilot skid preparation are underway. Piloting will be conducted at an OCWD-owned well near Warner Basin in Anaheim. OCWD’s consultant, Jacobs, has completed a draft test plan for the lab-scale Rapid Small-Scale Column Testing (RSSCT). The lab testing will evaluate the same GAC and novel products as the pilot and will run on OCWD’s pilot test well water supply and on 10 individual retailers well water sources. Jacobs has recommendations for which well and/or blend is to be used from each of the participating water retailers. Once this planning is finalized, OCWD will ensure concurrence of the well/blend choices with each retail agency, as well as coordinate the sampling and delivery of required volumes of water.

OCWD reviewed submissions received from its Request for Proposals for a PFAS Treatment Systems Planning Study. Staff will bring a recommendation to the October 9 Water Issues Committee meeting. The Water Issues Committee will also be continuing discussions about a potential program to assist OCWD’s water retailers with treating groundwater supplies to remove PFAS. 

OCWD continues to engage with legislators, regulators and elected officials on this important issue. On September 24, representatives from OCWD, Santa Clarita Valley Water and Intertox met with staff from CalEPA, the State Board, DDW, and California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to ask technical questions about the OEHHA report and findings that DDW used to recently lower drinking water Notification Levels and will likely use when lowering Response Levels later this year. 

OCWD also continues to work with other stakeholders throughout the state to share information and updates on PFAS issues. Upcoming presentations include:

San Bernardino Valley MWD Advisory Commission on October 10
ACWA PFAS Regulatory Summit on October 17
SAWPA EC Task Force on October 22
So Cal Water Dialogue on October 23
SAWPA EC Task Force on November 13
ACWA Fall Conference December 3-6
State Water Resources Control Board PFAS Summit December 4-5

For more information on upcoming events, please contact  Gina Ayala .
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