OCWD Update
December 2020
The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) strives to deliver clean, reliable drinking water to 2.5 million customers every day. OCWD and the local water suppliers 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.

PFAS have been detected in the Orange County Groundwater Basin. OCWD provides regular PFAS updates to community stakeholders to inform them of the proactive measures that the District and local water suppliers have taken to address PFAS in the Basin. 

For more background information, please see the materials below:
OCWD completed first quarter sampling and testing of the new PFAS monitoring orders that were formally issued by the state Division of Drinking Water (DDW) in September. The monitoring orders affected 15 local water suppliers in OCWD's service area for a total of 86 individual wells. The orders require year long quarterly testing beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020. DDW will likely issue a third statewide order that will affect additional wells operating in proximity to military facilities. Those orders are expected later this year or early next year and will require testing to begin in the second quarter of 2021.

There remains no new update on pending draft Public Health Goals (PHGs) for PFOA and PFOS. The state originally planned on issuing draft PHGs earlier this year. When they are issued, the draft PHGs will go through a public review process including two public comment periods, one public workshop and an external scientific peer review. In addition, Notification Levels (NL) and Response Levels (RL) for perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) are expected to be announced and the process will adhere to the requirements for AB 2560, which was recently signed into law but does not take effect until January 2021.
OCWD and its local water suppliers continue making significant headway on new groundwater treatment facilities. Currently 10 impacted groundwater local water suppliers are moving forward with design or construction of facilities. Local water suppliers include the cities of Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, Santa Ana, and Tustin; Serrano Water District; East Orange County Water District; Irvine Ranch Water District and Yorba Linda Water District.

Earlier this month OCWD's Board voted to accept the bid and award the contract for Serrano Water District’s PFAS Water Treatment Plant. The contract was awarded to Pacific Hydrotech Corp. and construction will begin in early December. A request to advertise construction contract documents for the next two projects, City of Garden Grove and Yorba Linda Water District, are expected to go before the Board on December 2, 2020. Construction at Fullerton's Kimberly Well 1A site continues, and operation of the treatment facility could begin as early as April 2021. 

The OCWD PFAS pilot facility continues to run and has now provided more than ten months of data. The current Phase 1 pilot will continue through December. OCWD will likely continue testing some Phase 1 media into the first quarter of 2021 and a follow-on Phase 2 program is under development to start during the second quarter.

OCWD is actively pursuing loans through the Environmental Protection Agency's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program to help fund local PFAS treatment facilities. WIFIA is a federal program supporting the financing of public infrastructure.