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Water Reuse as Part of the City of Spokane's Integrated Approach to Reduce Phosphorus Discharge

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The Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility (RPWRF) in Spokane, WA normally discharges treated effluent to the Spokane River. RPWRF is currently mandated to meet effluent TSS, BOD and NH3-N permit requirements. However studies recently conducted by the Washington Department of Ecology indicate that low DO in the receiving stream (Spokane River) may be alleviated through a reduction of phosphorus discharges into the river. In the future RPRWRF will be required to meet an extremely stringent effluent phosphorus limit of 0.01 mg/L or less. Several studies have suggested that this limit would be hard to achieve on a consistent basis; the City is therefore considering other means to achieve the reduction in mass discharge of phosphorus to the receiving stream. Part of this solution is the incorporation of a water reuse program using RPWRF effluent treated to meet Class A effluent quality (i.e., the most stringent reuse effluent quality).

Prior to implementation of a full scale reuse program, the City has elected to conduct a reuse demonstration using RPWRF secondary effluent treated to Class A standards applied at golf course sites operated by the City of Spokane's parks department. The two golf courses selected are Downriver golf course and The Creek at Qualchan golf course. RPWRF secondary effluent is treated to Class A quality using ultrafiltration and UV disinfection and transported to the application sites where it is applied onto the golf course as part of the normal daily watering regimen.

The results to date indicate that ultrafiltration of secondary effluent is a viable process alternative to produce Class A reuse quality effluent for use in public areas (e.g., landscape irrigation). Further this demonstration project has highlighted the advantages of a collaborative process to incorporate water reuse as part of a community's efforts towards water conservation. The project team has included the City's parks department, wastewater management department and RPWRF staff and Metcalf & Eddy personnel in design and pilot operations. The acceptance of the reuse project among the regulatory, operations and general public has thus far been excellent. We highlight in this paper some key lessons that may be beneficial for other communities.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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