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March 5, 2007

A project funded by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the City of Palmetto will provide additional storage for reclaimed water, reducing the need for potable water.

Excess reclaimed water is currently being discharged into Terra Ceia Bay. The city estimates that by 2010 almost 4,000 new residents will increase the demand for potable water by 2.2 million gallons per day (mgd.)

This project includes the design, permitting and construction of an Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) well for reclaimed water. The well will be located at the city’s wastewater treatment facility. It will have the design capacity of approximately 1.2 mgd. The plan is for the well to store as much as 100 million gallons of reclaimed water during wet weather periods, which will help reduce the demand on potable water by 276,000 gallons per day.

The project also includes the ultraviolet disinfection, cycle testing and operational permitting phases.

This multi-year cooperatively funded effort between Palmetto, the District’s Manasota Basin Board and the Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Fund is estimated to cost $2.34 million. The city and the Basin Board have each budgeted $389,000 this year and will receive an additional $72,000 from the trust fund. Additional funding for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 is contingent upon board approval.

The design phase of the project is scheduled to begin in March. Construction is slated to begin in September and be completed within a year. Cycle testing and the operational permit are expected to be complete by December 2009.

Reclaimed water is wastewater that has received at least secondary treatment and is used for a beneficial purpose, such as irrigation. By offsetting demand for ground water and surface water, this alternative, non-traditional water source reduces stress on environmental systems, provides economic benefits by delaying costly water system expansions, and eliminates the need to discharge wastewater effluent to surface waters.

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