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Fountain Hills Sanitary District: Four Decades of Innovation in Total Reuse

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Total reuse of reclaimed water has been a necessity in Fountain Hills, Arizona since the community was founded around 1970, because there is no access to the regional wastewater system or to natural watercourses for discharge. Local soil conditions preclude the use of vadose zone recharge. As flows increased, seasonal imbalances in supply and demand became very challenging to manage. The Fountain Hills Sanitary District explored a wide range of alternatives and ultimately implemented an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) program. Microfiltered reclaimed water is recharged directly to the local aquifer during the cooler months and recovered for reuse during the hotter months when irrigation water demands are highest. Use of the aquifer for seasonal storage has enabled supplies and demands to be balanced on an annual basis. Over the past decade, over 5 billion gallons of water have been reused via the Fountain Hills system.
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Keywords: aquifer storage and recovery; microfiltration; reclaimed water; water balance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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