Topic: Reclaimed Water


Arizona wastewater into beer

Excerpt: Something new will be brewing in Arizona next summer. The Southwest Water Campus has won a $250,000 grant to ease Arizonans into drinking reclaimed wastewater by first turning it into beer.

Excerpt: The group, which includes Tucson Water, the town of Marana, the University of Arizona, Carollo Engineers, CH2M, Clean Water Services and Water Reuse, was announced on Thursday as the winner of this year’s Water Innovation Challenge. Southwest Water Campus is a coalition of water utilities and service companies led by the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department.

Supervisors to revisit reclaimed-water rules

Excerpt: The county supervisors on Monday will again discuss a proposed county ordinance dealing with reclaimed water.

Excerpt: District 5 Sup. Steve Moss of Fort Mohave said at a previous meeting that unless the Southwest sees significant precipitation to relieve the decades-old drought, the Phoenix and Southern California urban areas will see water shortages by 2017 with Mohave County impacted by shortages the following year.

Excerpt: The proposed ordinance would not affect residential homes but would deal with reclaimed water for agricultural, irrigation, manufacturing or landscaping uses.

Tucson looks at treating wastewater for drinking

Excerpt: Tucson is taking its first tentative dip into the sometimes turbulent waters of recycling treated sewage effluent for drinking.

Excerpt: Tucson Water has produced a detailed long-range plan and an accompanying timetable that calls for building a pilot project to recycle wastewater for potable use as soon as three years from now.

Excerpt: But as effluent’s use for drinking grows around the arid Southwest, it’s a water supply that many local officials say is inevitable, given the region’s ongoing drought and population growth. They see it as the region’s only sustainable, locally generated water supply, particularly given the strains on the Colorado River due to continued drought.

Wichita Falls Sees Wastewater Recycling As Solution

Excerpt: Wichita Falls could soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater.

Excerpt: Mayor Glenn Barham says three years of extreme drought have changed life for 104,000 people living in Wichita Falls, which is about 140 miles northwest of Dallas.

“(There’s) no outside irrigation whatsoever with potable water. Car washes are closed one day a week. If you drain your pool to do maintenance you aren’t allowed to fill it,” he explained.

Excerpt: Nix says the extra treatment will eliminate unwanted minerals and pathogens like cryptosporidium and giardia.

“We just don’t have time to put the water out in a body of water, a wetlands, or lake and allow nature to take its course,” Nix said. “Inside the treatment plant, we speed those processes up so rather than wait several weeks for UV rays from the sun to disinfect or kill bacteria we do it in the plant using chlorine. It takes a matter of minutes to do it instead of weeks.”

Cities turn to 'green' strategies

Excerpt: Now, however, numerous cities around the country — including Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Portland, and Seattle — have embarked on innovative stormwater runoff fixes that rely not so much on the old “gray infrastructure” of huge, piped systems and sewage treatment plants, but rather on new green infrastructure techniques to collect and treat stormwater at the street level.

Excerpt: The plants and soils collect water during a storm, preventing it from either running into sewer systems at all, or at least slowing it down to prevent overflows. Green infrastructure can also help clean some pollution from the water and can even be used to gather water for re-use.

Excerpt: “When people start really thinking about how a natural approach to the management of water, the cleaning of air, and so forth, can actually reduce costs and increase value at the same time,” says McMahon of the Urban Land Institute, “I just think that it’s inevitable that we’re going to see this as a much more preferred approach going forward.”

New reclaimed water study

Excerpt: "But we find that the levels of resistance genes are higher than waters unaffected by humans.

"One of the resistance genes detected at one sprinkler head, vanA, is not commonly found in soil or water and allows bacteria to survive vancomycin treatment, which is a last-resort antibiotic used to save human life."

Excerpt: "More research is needed on reclaimed water systems to determine what risks they may pose, if any, to increasing background levels of resistance and ultimately the number of people that become ill with infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics."

Excerpt: "I worry this report mis-directs our attention from the real threats. I am very worried about the development of drug resistant diseases. Waste water and environmental ARGs are not a problem relative the danger we face due to agricultural and medical practices with these very valuable drugs.

"If there is real concern about antibiotic resistant pathogens, our activities need to be directed to the real problems and not at treated wastewater. I would predict that Flagstaff residents eat large quantities of ARGS's daily in their food.

Reclaimed wastewater faces new scrutiny

Excerpt: But a new and first-of-its-kind study of Flagstaff's treated effluent by a noted Virginia Tech scientist suggests that maybe an altered bacteria is growing in those purple pipes -- and researchers hold different opinions on whether that's true and what it signifies for the public.

Excerpt: On one hand are concerns that normal bacteria living in the city's reclaimed water system, and in its ponds and streams, are acquiring the ingredients they need to become resistant to antibiotics.

That's a concern for some researchers because they raise questions about the impact this might have on other living things, including people, in the environment.

Excerpt: "The bigger concern is not specific to the reclaimed water in Flagstaff, but is a larger global concern as more and more communities worldwide are turning to water re-use to save water ... Several studies around the world have shown that antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including pathogens, survive and sometimes even thrive in wastewater treatment plants. More research is needed on reclaimed water systems to determine what risks they may pose, if any, to increasing background levels of resistance and ultimately the number of people that become ill with infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics," Pruden wrote.

San Antonio's Lessons

Excerpt: Tucked discretely behind the Witte Museum, the water pumps produce a steady hum, churning treated waste water into the river and allowing it to flow with the strength of a waterway in a far wetter place. The water re-use system keeps the San Antonio River rolling, and keeps people visiting the popular River Walk.

Excerpt: Since a lawsuit in the 1990s forced San Antonio to conserve water for endangered species in the Edwards Aquifer, the city has become a poster child for conservation. Now, as drought grips parts of the country less accustomed to water shortages, officials here think they may have some lessons for other cities. So many lessons that they’re sometimes hard to keep track of, says Chuck Ahrens, Vice President for Water Resources and Conservation for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS).

Excerpt: That list includes big-money projects like water re-use, brackish water desalination, and underground aquifer storage. But the city’s greatest success is found in simple conservation.

Sewage effluent and wastewater to augment drinking water

Excerpt: Parched cities and regions across the globe are using sewage effluent and other wastewater in creative ways to augment drinking water, but four billion people still do not have adequate supplies, and that number will rise in coming decades.

Excerpt: “This is the only path forward to provide water for humans as well as for ecosystems,” said lead author Stanley Grant, a UC Irvine civil & environmental engineering professor who specializes in water quality. “We need to focus on improving the productivity and value of existing supplies, which basically means getting more out of a glass of water.”


Water Conserve
Water conservation information and news
My Water Pledge
My Water Pledge is a friendly competition between cities across the US to see who can be the most “water-wise.” Mayors nationwide will challenge their residents to conserve water energy and other natural resources on behalf of their city through a series of informative, easy-to-use pledges online.
Managing Water in the West
Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River.