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Who Says Wastewater Treatment Plants Need NPDES Discharge Permits? – Achieving 100 Percent Reuse for Irrigation, Industry, and Environmental Restoration

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The Pasco County Master Reuse System (PCMRS) is the sole wastewater effluent management mechanism for Pasco County Utilities and the City of New Port Richey, making both utilities complete reuse utilities. The PCMRS receives and reuses over 75,708 cubic meters per day (20 million gallons per day) of reclaimed water. Reuse in the County complies with Ch.62-610 FAC as unrestricted public access reuse (Part III Reuse), rapid recharge infiltration basin systems (Part IV Reuse), or industrial (Part VII Reuse). The PCMRS does not contain a surface water outflow for wet-weather effluent disposal.

The system serves over 777 square kilometers (300 square miles) and allows treated effluent to be moved from the western side of the County, where most of the treatment facilities are located, to the east side of the County, where more of the reclaimed water customers are located.

The strategy for meeting future projections in reclaimed water supply while maintaining the County's commitment to complete reuse has relied on growth of the PCMRS customer base. To be able to grow the PCMRS customer base while meeting the proposed total maximum daily load (TMDL) nitrogen allocations established by the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program Nitrogen Management Consortium, Pasco County is implementing the following strategies:

Propose a method for total nitrogen load allocation and compliance calculation that would allow growth within the Hillsborough Basin.

Reduce total nitrogen concentrations in reclaimed water applied in the Hillsborough Basin to allow for more flow while meeting the same load constraint.

Divert reclaimed water for reuse projects either outside of the Hillsborough Basin or for projects that would not contribute to the total nitrogen loads to Tampa Bay.

Keywords: TMDL; nitrogen allocation; reclaimed water; reuse; total nitrogen

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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