The purified water produced by the purification center is not currently used for drinking, but instead is blended with tertiary-treated recycled water and used for a variety of non-potable purposes such as landscaping, agriculture and industry. By demonstrating we can produce purified water that is safe to drink, the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center helps pave the way to potable reuse in Santa Clara County.
Through the three steps of the advanced purification process, the purification center produces high-quality water that with advanced oxidation is safe enough to drink.
Established as a demonstration and research facility, water produced at the purification center has undergone a number of evaluations and studies, including more than 4,000 water quality tests to screen for pathogens, contaminants, and pharmaceuticals. Upon its opening, Valley Water carried out a potable reuse demonstration test plan over the course of 15 months. The test plan pushed the operational limits of each of the purification steps (i.e. microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection). This was known as challenge testing, to see if each treatment process could still perform properly and produce quality results under extreme conditions.
The results and data collected from the test plan demonstrate and verify the purification center is effective in removing contaminants that require constant monitoring according to state water reuse regulations. These include:
- Industrial chemicals,
- Personal care products, and
- Biological pathogens, which are microorganisms that can cause illness (e.g., viruses, bacteria, and protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium)