Orange County Water District Receives 2021 Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence

PFAS Pilot Project Honored at Statewide Conference

Sacramento, California, UNITED STATES

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today presented the prestigious Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence to Orange County Water District (OCWD) for its PFAS Pilot Project.

OCWD’s PFAS Pilot Project is the nation’s largest pilot testing program that tests various treatment techniques in a proactive effort to remover PFAS detected in local groundwater supplies. The district has tested multiple technologies including granular activated carbon and ion exchange products as well as novel adsorbents. The district is currently working to add 10 PFAS treatment plants throughout the area and has provided more than a year’s worth of data to help determine the most effective treatment media to remove PFAS. Phase 2 is currently under development and will test newly available adsorbents.

“The PFAS Pilot Project is a wonderful example of a local water agency utilizing innovative technologies to address the urgent need to improve groundwater quality,” said ACWA President Steve LaMar. “The research and results of this project will not only support local water agencies, but will help find solutions for all impacted areas.”

ACWA’s Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence is an annual award program that recognizes outstanding achievements by public water agencies. The winning agency has the honor of awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a deserving student in the name of Clair A. Hill, founder of the consulting engineering firm Jacobs.

The award, sponsored by Jacobs, was presented during ACWA’s 2021 Virtual Spring Conference where local water officials are virtually joining programs and panel discussions on a variety of key water issues.

The other finalists for this year’s award were:

  • The City of Sacramento’s Leak Free Sacramento Program: The program assists eligible low-income and single-family residential homeowners with water efficient repairs at no cost.
  • Coachella Valley Water District’s Palm Desert Groundwater Replenishment Project: The goal is to replenish Colorado River Water into the groundwater basin to maximize annual allocation of imported water and improve local groundwater supply.
  • Eastern Municipal Water District’s Recycled Water Accelerated Retrofit Program: This innovative conservation-focused program converts facilities’ adjacent landscape irrigation from potable to recycled water.
  • Yuba County Water Agency’s Watershed Resilience Program: This collaborative program combines solutions to implement watershed restoration with local capacity building and project development to create resilient forests, watersheds and communities.

For more information about ACWA’s awards programs, please visit

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose more than 440 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit

Contact: Heather Engel, Director of Communications | C (760) 217-0627