393 

 

Name: Jennifer Cabral 

Phone: 714.593.7581 

Email: jcabral@ocsd.com 

 

NARRATIVE: The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) is a public agency that provides wastewater 
collection, treatment, and recycling for approximately 2.5 million people in central and northwest 
Orange County. OCSD is a special district that is governed by a 25-member Board of Directors comprised 
of 20 cities, four special districts, and one representative from the Orange County Board of Supervisors. 
OCSD has two operating facilities that treat wastewater from residential, commercial and industrial 
sources. OCSD manages 587 miles of regional sewers that collect and transport wastewater to either the 
reclamation plant in Fountain Valley or the treatment plant in Huntington Beach where it is treated, and 
sent for water recycling or released into the Pacific Ocean. 

In recent years, OCSD has transformed from a sanitation district treating, collecting and disposing of 
wastewater to a resource recovery agency: capturing, recycling and reusing the products resulting from 
the wastewater treatment process.  

Water Reuse: We are suppliers of new water. Water reliability is the foundation for a vibrant and 
growing economy, and OCSD has become an important part of maintaining water reliability in the 
region. Through our partnership with the Orange County Water District, OCSD has invested in and 
supported the development of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS).  In 2008, we made 
history with the commissioning of the GWRS, the world’s largest advanced water purification facility of 
its kind, which takes treated wastewater and purifies it to meet and exceed state and federal drinking 
water standards.  

In 2015, the initial expansion of GWRS was completed. The Orange County Water District now receives 
130 million gallons per day of secondary treated effluent from OCSD, in turn increasing GWRS water 
production from 70 million gallons per day to 100 million gallons per day.  GWRS produces enough 
water to serve 850,000 people in Orange County. 

Today, OCSD is reusing more than 50 percent of the total wastewater flow that we receive.  

Beneficial Biosolids Reuse: We are producers of soil amendments for agricultural and future energy. The 
solids produced as part of the treatment process, known as biosolids, are recycled as soil amendment 
and compost for use on agricultural lands. Thirty years ago solids were viewed as a waste, now they are 
providing valuable nutrients to farm lands in Arizona and California.  

OCSD’s biosolids program reduces expenses by using cost effective management tools. We closed out 
Fiscal Year 2014-15 at 94 percent of our allocated $18.32 million budget for biosolids management, 
which includes hauling and offsite contractor costs. This resulted in an overall savings of $1.1 million. 

In addition, OCSD is proactive in researching innovative technologies to enhance beneficial reuse with 
efforts such as participating in a sub-pyrolysis system followed by a dryer to create an “e-fuel” that was 
used as a coal substitute at cement kilns where the ash was also used in the cement-making process in 
2008; hosting the world's first tri-generation fuel cell and hydrogen energy station, which uses digestion 
biogas to produce heat, electricity, and hydrogen in 2011; and most recently exploring the possibilities 
at OCSD with the supercritical water oxidation process that high-temperature and pressure to convert 
sludge into water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen gas, minerals, and electricity, which will be used to help run