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Valley Water celebrates five years of advanced purified water

December 26, 2019

Innovation is the heart of Silicon Valley. In that spirit of innovation, Valley Water commemorates the 5th anniversary of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center (purification center). Opened in July 2014, the purification center is a partnership between Valley Water and the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara to study the safety, cleanliness, and reliability of advanced water purification as a new, locally controlled, and drought-resistant water supply.

The purification center originated from Valley Water’s long term water supply strategic planning. The record-breaking droughts of the late 2000s and early 2010s reinforced the need to identify and develop new sources of water for Santa Clara County. After five years of operation, the purification center continues to show Valley Water, community partners, and the public that advanced purification is a drought-resistant, clean, safe, and reliable water supply.

Tours at the purification center help Valley Water educate the public about the benefits and advantages of potable reuse, such as using advanced purified water in drinking water supplies through groundwater recharge and enhancing non-drinkable, recycled water. The purification center tour program allows visitors to witness the proven advanced purification technology at the heart of the purification center and learn about water reuse and the county’s water supply. Tours allow residents and visitors to see the purification center in action, and they provide an interactive and dynamic learning experience that helps people understand the innovative and highly advanced processes that produce advanced purified water which are (1) microfiltration, (2) reverse osmosis, and (3) ultraviolet disinfection. Similar technology also provides safe, clean, and reliable water to astronauts on the International Space Station and water suppliers around the world.

By the Numbers In the last five years, the purification center has:

  • Hosted 8,638 people since the first public tour in July 2014.
  • Held 431 tours, including recurring public tours, private group tours, stakeholder/VIP tours, and special events.
  • Produced 2 billion gallons of recycled water which is enough to fill about 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!
  • Demonstrated the reliability, safety, and quality of purified water to thousands of residents, community leaders, and industry partners.

From the Board

Looking Ahead As we celebrate five years of successful operation at the purification center, Valley Water is preparing a comprehensive water reuse master plan that will guide water reuse efforts in Santa Clara County. The water reuse master plan is expected to be completed in fall 2020. The water reuse master plan will:

  • Identify sources of water for potable, or drinkable reuse (advanced purified water) versus non-potable reuse (recycled water used for irrigation, industry, and wastewater systems and is not for consumption).
  • Identify how much advanced purified and recycled water will be generated.
  • Identify program and community partners and their roles.
  • Determine water reuse infrastructure development needs.
  • Create the program’s timeline.
  • Lay out the benefits of water reuse for the community.

Reusing water will help secure our water supply and protect the ecosystems that support it as the impacts of climate change and population growth become more present and threaten our limited water resources.

Advanced Purified Water: Tap into the Future Experience firsthand the advanced water purification technology; register for a free tour of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center by going to our tour program homepage.

For inquiries about the tour program or to schedule a private tour, please email [email protected].

For more information on Valley Water’s general planning efforts, click on our Water Supply Master Plan page or click on our recycled and purified water page.

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.