Text description provided by the architects. With the ever-increasing challenges of water use in Southern California the City of Oxnard has set itself apart from other municipalities through its efforts to reduce imported water used to service their residents, businesses, and farmers by way of the GREAT Program. The GREAT Program, or Groundwater Recovery Enhancement and Treatment Program, uses reclaimed water found within the city limits reducing the impact on other, more stressed water sources.
Engagement of the community is a critical when faced with diminishing natural resources, and ownership in its preservation comes through education of the public. As part of the GREAT Program, the Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) not only conditions wastewater for eventual reuse, but provides a place for water treatment education and water resource management to occur.
The AWPF is comprised of five separate process-oriented facilities which will provide 25 million gallons a day (MGD) of reclaimed water to the City. A free standing education/administration building serving as a Science Center is the public’s first impression of the AWPF and serves as the beginning for tours of the process facility. The Science Center is the physical point of transition between the public and the treatment process, informing the shape and materiality, humanizing the industrial uses and is representative of the GREAT Program’s intention to use natural resources responsibly. This transition is further emphasized through the use of bridges which deliver visitors over demonstration wetlands that surround the Science Center.
The reclaimed water is used in the demonstration wetlands to study the effects of treated water on similar natural wetlands like the Ormond Beach wetlands east of the project site. Other intended uses of the water include irrigation of edible food crops, city parks, and golf courses. Groundwater will be protected through the injection of reclaimed water into the groundwater basin to inhibit seawater intrusion. Sustainable elements within the project include the use of photovoltaic panels as a renewable energy source, automated passive cooling as part of the high performance environmental systems, abundant natural daylight including passive and active daylighting controls, reduced water usage, and native plant materials.