Santa Margarita Water District Selected for 2019 Clair A. Hill Agency Award for Excellence by Matt Veeh May 9, 2019 Water News ACWA presented the prestigious 2019 Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence to the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) for its Lake Mission Viejo Advanced Treated Water Facility project. The award, sponsored by Jacobs, was presented during ACWA’s 2019 Spring Conference & Exhibition in Monterey where more than 1,500 local water officials are gathered through Friday for programs and panel discussions on a variety of key water issues. SMWD formed a unique public-private partnership to fast-track, finance and build an Advanced Treated Water Facility in just eight months. The result is that Lake Mission Viejo is now the first swimming and recreational lake in California to use recycled water instead of drinking water for lake refill. The facility takes traditional tertiary treated recycled water and produces purified effluent for direct discharge and use in Lake Mission Viejo. Switching to Advanced Treated Water for lake refill ended a nearly 40-year practice of using up to 350 Acre-Feet of potable water annually to maintain water levels in the 125-acre Orange County lake, saving 114 million gallons of water per year. “The Lake Mission Viejo Advanced Treated Water Facility is a wonderful example of a local water agency collaborating with private and public partners to build an innovative water treatment and supply project that provides multiple regional benefits,” said ACWA President Brent Hastey. The other finalist for this year’s award was the Crescenta Valley Water District, which undertook a project to reactivate one of its wells at the Ordunio Reservoir and install an ARoNite biological nitrate removal treatment facility. The project will increase CVWD’s ability to pump its adjudicated rights within the Verdugo Basin, utilize a local water source, and reduce CVWD’s dependence on imported water. The project was a joint venture with APTwater and resulted in one of the first bio-remediation systems with the ability to remove nitrates to be built in California. 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 CH2M, now Jacobs. For more information about ACWA’s awards programs, please visit www.acwa.com/about/awards.