Reclaimed Water - The "Right Water for the Right Use"
Reclaimed water, sometimes called recycled water, is treated wastewater from a water reclamation facility (WRF) that meets the water quality standards suitable for beneficial purposes. Direct reuse and aquifer recharge of reclaimed water is essential for sustainability and water conservation and in the City of Peoria’s case, contributes to a significant portion of the City’s renewable water portfolio.
When wastewater has undergone secondary (or biological) treatment, filtration, disinfection, and meets certain water quality standards, it is classified as Class A reclaimed water. All of the City’s WRFs, including Butler Drive, Beardsley and Jomax, produce HIGHLY treated reclaimed water, classified as A+, because the plants have additional processes that remove nitrogen compounds well below the drinking water limit of 10 mg/L.
Monitoring and testing are routinely performed to ensure the quality of reclaimed water is compliant with all water quality and safety regulations. As with drinking water (potable water), the quality of reclaimed water is regulated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department. Although reclaimed water is of high quality, it is not designed to meet all of the drinking water standards. However, Class A+ water is the highest water quality criteria established by ADEQ so that incidental contact poses no significant health concern for humans or animals.
Water Reuse in North Peoria
The first direct water reuse system in Peoria was constructed in northern Peoria's Vistancia development. There, reclaimed water is distributed to golf courses, common areas,roadside landscaping, and park areas through the purple pipe system. The decorative lakes in the area act as retention basins for reclaimed water so that it can be stored until it is needed. All areas using reclaimed water are clearly marked by signs like those shown below.
Reclaimed water in northern Peoria is treated to A+ standards, the safest and highest quality standard for reclaimed water, at the City's Jomax Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) located near the intersection of Jomax Road and El Mirage Road.
Water Reuse in South Peoria
Wastewater from South Peoria is treated at the City's Butler WRF located near Butler Drive and 79th Avenue is also treated to A+ standards, the safest and highest quality standard possible, and distributed through a purple pipe system to roadside landscaping, HOA landscape areas, the entire City Hall campus, the City's municipal car wash, and the City's newest community park, Pioneer Park, which will include an urban fishing lake consisting of reclaimed water.
Safety of Reclaimed Water
Monitoring and testing are routinely performed to ensure the quality of reclaimed water is compliant with water quality regulations. As with drinking water, the quality of reclaimed water is regulated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Although reclaimed water is of high quality, it is not treated to drinking water standards. While reclaimed water is not intended for drinking or swimming, it is completely safe to use for irrigation in parks and common areas as well as the many other uses listed above. The water is treated to the highest water quality criteria established by ADEQ so that contact or accidental ingestion poses no significant concern for humans or animals.
Additional Educational Resources for Reclaimed Water
The majority of the world's population drinks from rivers and streams that have received discharges from upstream users. In most of the industrialized developed world, there are treated wastewater discharges that become a source of drinking water supply for downstream users. It is nothing new. We've been doing it for centuries. What is new is that today's technology makes it cleaner and safer. Water reuse is the key to a sustainable future. Click on the WateReuse Association's video to the right to learn more about water reuse and its increasing importance.
Another great resource for reclaimed water is athirstyplanet.com. Click on the link to visit their website or take a look at their video on reclaimed water here.
to visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) reclaimed website for more information on treatment standards and permitting.
Environmental Resources Manager
Administrative Assistant II