WASTEWATER REUSE: SOUTH FLORIDA'S ANSWER TO A SUSTAINABLE 21ST CENTURY
Authors: Vadiveloo, E.; Cisterna, R.
Source: Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, Sustainability 2008 , pp. 726-739(14)
Publisher: Water Environment Federation
Abstract:According to a projection by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the United States must find water for an additional 2.5 million people each year over the next 50 years. That is equivalent to adding a city the size of San Diego to the nation each year. Hence, water supply adequacy promises to be one of the country's primary resource issues for the hope of a sustainable 21st century.Historically water rich areas of the country, such as South Florida, can expect to see significant population increases. [The Census predicts 5 million more people in the state over the next 25 years]. Due to this significant population growth, coupled with natural climatic variability and the water demanding task of Everglades restoration, South Florida water utilities are facing some of the largest and most challenging water supply issues they have ever seen. Rather than praying for rain, utilities are being asked to find synergistic solutions to water supply, wastewater effluent disposal and reuse issues. Several programs are leading the push down this path, including the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP) and the proposed Regional Water System Availability Rule.During the dry season, Southeast Florida water suppliers currently depend on an estimated 500 million gallons of water per day from the Everglades to sustain their primary drinking water source, the Biscayne Aquifer. In turn, low dry season water levels have disturbed the Everglades ecosystem, and the State of Florida has committed billions of dollars to reversing these impacts through programs such as the CERP. The CERP has been described as the world's largest ecosystem restoration effort, and includes restoring natural flows of water, water quality, and more natural hydro-periods within the remaining natural areas. This plan is intended to result in a sustainable South Florida by restoring the ecosystem, ensuring clean and reliable water supplies and providing flood protection.As a result of the CERP, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) coded the Regional Water Availability Rule which limits water supply demands from the Everglades and Loxahatchee River Watershed to levels that existed prior to April 2006. The rule affects water suppliers in urban areas along the District's lower east coast, including Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. As a result of this rule, cities needing additional water supplies will be required to seek sources that are not dependent upon the Everglades for recharge. These alternative water supply solutions include conserving water, recycling wastewater, or finding new water sources such as the deeper and more brackish Floridan Aquifer or seawater. However, since millions of gallons of treated wastewater are being dumped into the ocean or injected deep into the ground, regulatory agencies are highly encouraging a more sustainable approach focusing on wastewater reuse as the primary alternative water supply option. Therefore, this paper will focus on a few of the more advanced cutting edge initiatives that will apply state of the art dual membrane technology for challenging applications such as indirect potable reuse that would recharge the Biscayne Aquifer, and spray irrigation using brackish water sources. Three of these initiatives that will be reviewed in this paper include:<list list-type="bullet"> <list-item>City of Plantation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) Pilot</list-item> <list-item>Miami Dade County Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant Water Reclamation Facility (CDWRF)</list-item> <list-item>Miami Dade County South District Wastewater Treatment Plant Water Reclamation Plant (SDWRP)</list-item> </list>As an ongoing regional effort to finding alternative water supplies, the City of Plantation and the SFWMD entered into a cooperative agreement to evaluate recharging the Biscayne Aquifer with highly treated reclaimed water through canal infiltration. The work associated with this project included an economical desk-top evaluation of the potential process treatment schemes capable of meeting the required effluent water quality.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2008-01-01
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