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McCarthy Building Cos. begins expansion of groundwater replenishment system

The project will increase the facility’s water treatment capacity by 30 million gallons per day.

By Elaine MurphyPublished: February 03, 2012 07:00 AM

Newport Beach-based McCarthy Building Companies Inc. recently began construction on the expansion of the Orange County Water District’s (OCWD) groundwater replenishment system.

The groundwater replenishment system (GWRS) treats and purifies wastewater, diverting it from the Pacific Ocean and cycling it back into Orange County’s water supply. The largest water treatment facility of its kind in the world, the GWRS processes 70 million gallons of water per day.

The project includes the expansion of its micro-filtration facility; construction of two new above-ground steel tanks, which can hold 7.5 million gallons of water apiece; and eight new water treatment basins. McCarthy will also build a new 32,000-square-foot reverse-osmosis building, increasing the Fountain Valley facility’s capacity by 30 million gallons per day.

“The GWRS has provided a reliable, locally controlled source of water for Orange County during a time when the availability of imported water is decreasing while its cost is increasing,” said Mike Markus, OCWD general manager. We live in a naturally arid region. The GWRS Expansion will provide us with the water-supply reliability that we need while creating hundreds of local jobs that will benefit Orange County’s economy through the development, construction and operation of the project.”

McCarthy executive vice president Mark Mardock said, “It’s exciting to not only be involved with an internationally renowned project, but also helping to provide a environmentally responsible, reliable and safe source of water, which is critical to the public health and economy of Orange County.”

The project, conducted by the OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District, is scheduled for completion in September 2014. Parsons, headquartered in Pasadena, is the project’s construction manager, while Black and Veatch of Irvine will provide the structural, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering services.

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