I’ll Take a Glass of Your Finest Recycled Water, Please.

BLOG POST | Feb 22, 2018

Later this month in Reclaiming Municipal Wastewater: A Path Towards Resiliency, we highlight the innovative work they are doing over at the University Area Joint Authority in State College, PA. Below, I begin to catalog some of the technologies (and techniques) helping Alliance members tackle the reuse of water in their communities. Please share how your organization reuses water in the comment section below!

First up, let’s look at University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) in State College, PA

Pop: 41,992 (2016)[1]

As stated in their mission, “…[it] is to collect, treat, and reuse wastewater and its associated biosolids to benefit the environment, quality of life, and economy of the

region.”[2]  Through an inter-governmental agreement with the Borough of State College, PA, UAJA “oversees the treatment and disposal of municipal sewage from various regional government jurisdictions.”[3]

To further complicate their role in recharging the local aquifer, the geographical location is within the fragile Spring Creek Watershed, which has received a high-quality designation by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.[4]  

The water being discharged is some of the cleanest in the region!

View a recent article about their expanding program

City of Avondale, AZ

Pop: 82,881 (2016)[5]

In the desert Southwest, water is critical—a visible driving force for local flora and fauna.  For the City of Avondale, AZ, they use the natural ecology to filter water from the City’s Salt River Project (SRP) and Central Arizona Project (CAP) water allocations to meet aquifer water quality standards. Through designed ‘treatment cells’ at Crystal Garden Lakes/Wetlands, “[w]ater flows into the Wetland via an SRP canal. The first stage is the sedimentary cells (cells 1 and 10), these unplanted cells are designed to allow solids and heavy material to settle out. Water then flows by gravity through the planted treatment cells where the wetland ecosystem allows the nitrogen cycle to occur naturally.[6]

Got to love those free ecological services!

Alexandria Renew Enterprises, VA (New Alliance Member!)

Pop: 300,000 (covers parts of Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County)

Much like UAJA, Alexandria Renew Enterprises states their commitments to the community below (as provided by alexrenew.com[7]):

  • Treat wastewater and deliver clean, renewable water back to our community and our local waters
  • Improve the health of our local waterways like Hunting Creek and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Invest in our community by providing quality jobs, training and education, and by sourcing regionally
  • Give back through renewable energy and sustainable operations

These are, of course, only a very, very small sampling of the work you all are doing with wastewater.  We want to learn and share more examples, so describe your organizations approach to wastewater and reasoning in the comments below!

And, don’t’ forget, please join us March 29 for Reclaiming Municipal Wastewater: A Path Towards Resiliency!

Please share how your organization reuses water in the comment section below!


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