Ground Water Recharge
The Utilities Department is involved in several programs in order to recharge our groundwater supplies. Provided below is a brief explanation in the types of programs:
Beardsley Road Water Reclamation Facility
The Utilities Department operates the Beardsley Road Wastewater Reclamation Facility located at 111th Avenue and Beardsley Road. This facility treats wastewater from Peoria residents north of Beardsley Road in the northern parts of the City. After the wastewater is highly treated to meet State of Arizona Department of Environmental Quality standards, the reclaimed water is then sent to rapid infiltration basins on-site. These basins permit the treated water to infiltrate into the subsurface geologic materials. As the water infiltrates downward it is treated again in a natural process called "soil-aquifer-treatment" prior to it reaching the groundwater table hundreds of feet below ground surface. The City of Peoria recharged groundwater by the following amounts at the Beardsley Water Reclamation Facility:
This facility is permitted by Arizona Department of Water Resources as an Underground Storage Project. Peoria receives long-term storage credits from the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
Agua Fria Recharge Site
The City of Peoria is working to become 15% partners in Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) to establish a groundwater recharge project in the normally dry Agua Fria river bed near Jomax Road. The CAWCD is taking the lead on this project and has received numerous permits from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The CAWCD imports Colorado River water and discharges it into the Agua Fria river bed from the Central Arizona Project canal. This water will flow down the Agua Fria River until it reaches a series of rapid infiltration basins. The water then infiltrate into the subsurface geologic materials and eventually recharging the groundwater table. This project is projected to recharge approximately 60,000 acre-feet (32.6 billion gallons) of Colorado River water annually.
Salt River Project - In Lieu Program
The City of Peoria has joined with Salt River Project (SRP) during the past several years in an "in-lieu" recharge program. This type of recharge differs from direct recharge in that Peoria provides a portion of its Central Arizona Project (CAP) water to the Salt River Project. The Salt River Project then uses this CAP water "in-lieu" of pumping its groundwater supplies. This is beneficial in three ways: first, groundwater is saved since SRP curtails its groundwater pumping while using CAP supplies; second, CAP water is put to use today; and third, Peoria obtains "credits" from the Arizona Department of Water Resources that will permit the City to pump groundwater at some point in the future such as during times of drought.