On the Cutting Edge of Water Conservation in Orange County

September 28th, 2015

Orange County: a land of unlimited sunshine, gigantic theme parks and long beaches. It’s a place where an unemployment rate of only 4.1 percent demands job seekers, where malls with 200+ retailers cater to shoppers, and cuisines from around the world tempt your taste buds. You’ve been wanting to live here for a while, never more so than when Brandywine homes started offering its latest developments. 

Any discussion of living in Southern California must include water. Or rather, the lack of it due to a drought that’s been going on since 2012. The scarcity of this life-giving liquid should give you less pause than you would expect in Orange County. Many cities here have already met or surpassed the 25 percent reduction goals demanded by Gov. Jerry Brown’s emergency order to deal with the drought. You have only to drive down any neighborhood to notice the brown lawns that the locals display as a badge of their eco-minded community consciousness. 

In addition, Orange County has been on the forefront of water recycling since at least 2008 when a special purification plant opened to produce drinkable recycled water. The processed liquid does not go directly into the water treatment plants. Instead, it ends up in the area’s underground aquifers from which water services draw their stock.

And yes, that recycled water includes what is euphemistically called “wastewater.” One example: a recent news story announcing the Orange County Water District’s expansion of a wastewater recycling facility in Fountain Valley. The $142 million upgrade increases production from 70 million gallons a day to 100 million gallons, which is enough water to service the needs of 850,000 county residents.

Naturally, being the smart consumer that you are, you recognize the term “wastewater” as a pleasantry that covers the less-pleasant designation of “sewage.” That includes toilet water, the liquid that drains from your dish and clothes washer and the day’s grime that you wash away in the shower and tub. The idea “toilet to tap,” may be enough to make you gag and swear off tap water forever.

But hold on. You insist on natural resources, such as rivers, streams, and underground aquifers as your only sources of potable water because you regard them as uncontaminated. Such an assumption may be misplaced. Consider all the fish, birds, squirrels, deer, and bears who live around such pastoral settings. Like you, they eat and drink. And like you, they do a number one and number two. But unlike you, they do not have the advantage of porcelain thrones.

The source of your drinking water is not as important as what is done to make it potable. And in the case of Orange County, all water undergoes the same process, no matter where it comes from. The system works well enough, as proven by the millions of residents who depend on it to live healthy lives. In any case, the drought makes such water conservation and recycling necessary.

If you want to know how a new Brandywine home can help with your efforts to conserve water, please contact us. We can schedule a tour, so you can observe the water-saving features in Orange County homes first-hand.

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