Blog note: Projects and Partners is a WaterMatters Blog series that highlights various innovative projects of the District and its partners to benefit the community.
District leaders recently helped Marion County Utilities celebrate the expansion of the Oak Run Wastewater Reclamation Facility, which includes 20 miles of new pipeline, a new 1.6-million-gallon storage tank and removal of three smaller wastewater treatment plants.
The expansion is the latest installment in a larger regionalization effort in southwestern Marion County with the goals of increasing cost-efficiency, protecting water resources and supporting economic development.
By expanding the Oak Run facility and extending the pipeline, three other smaller and less-efficient plants were shut down and the wastewater redirected to Oak Run. Because the Oak Run facility produces treated water that meets or exceeds advanced wastewater treatment standards, the quality of the water returning to the aquifer has improved.
The project provides 850,000 gallons of reclaimed water per day to three area golf courses. But the system can distribute 1.6 million gallons per day to meet future needs.
“Using reclaimed water reduces demand for groundwater and delays the need to build costly new water supplies,” said Governing Board member Tommy Bronson, who attended the ribbon-cutting. “This project shows what can happen when we work together. It’s good for the water resources, it’s cost-effective and it’s forward thinking.”
The reclaimed portion of the project cost approximately $4.2 million, with the District providing 50 percent of the funding.