The Scottsdale Water Campus – the first potable water reuse facility in Arizona and one of the most advanced water recycling plants in the world – marked 20 years of successful operation at a day-long celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Kicking off the event, Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane explained that the state-of-the-art facility has enabled Scottsdale to recharge over 65 billion gallons of water into our area aquifers, safeguarding the city’s long-term water supply while also ensuring the exceptional water quality of our local aquifers.
Global engineering firm Black & Veatch designed the Water Campus and key members of that design team, including current president of Black & Veatch’s global water business, Cindy Wallace-Lage, were on hand for the celebration.
Speaking at the morning event, Wallace-Lage explained the foresight and vision that Scottsdale demonstrated when they began planning for the Water Campus back in the 1980s:
“Scottsdale made a very bold statement 30-plus years ago to say: ‘To be sustainable in the desert, we have to do something different. To be a thriving community, to have economic growth, we have to have security of water.’ And to see what was done here has really been a fantastic example of leading the way.”
She went on to explain how the facility laid the groundwork for future global water reuse projects, noting that the Advanced Water Treatment plant at the Water Campus was the first facility of its type to combine so many advanced technologies and to emphasize the importance of public education about water reuse.
The anniversary celebration also included a video explaining the significance of the Scottsdale Water Campus followed by a tour of the Advanced Water Treatment plant.
The tour began with a ceremonial “re-start-up” of the facility by the Scottsdale mayor and city council, symbolizing a beginning of the next 20 years of successful water reuse innovation at the Water Campus.
The celebration continued into the evening as more than 120 guests participated in several public tours.
About the Scottsdale Water Campus
The Scottsdale Water Campus, located north of the Loop 101 off Pima Road, is a 145-acre facility combining all aspects of a full-service water utility. The site includes a 70 million gallon per day drinking water treatment plant that treats Colorado River Water from the Central Arizona Project, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, a water reclamation plant, the world’s largest Vadose Zone groundwater-recharge well field and the world-renowned Advanced Water Treatment Plant.
The Advanced Water Treatment Plant, which has been named by the WateReuse Research Foundation and the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence as one of the world’s most innovative water purification projects, converts raw sewage from Scottsdale homes and businesses to ultrapure water in less than 12 hours. The purified water, which is comparable in quality to bottled water, is then used to recharge Scottsdale’s drinking water aquifer and provide high-quality water to Scottsdale golf courses and sports fields.
Scottsdale Water – the city’s municipal water utility – has been providing quality drinking water and advanced reclamation services to Scottsdale businesses and residents for over 40 years. An industry leader, the utility has been recognized with the industry-leading Sustainable Water Management Award by the Association of Municipal Water Agencies and as a Utility of the Future Today by the Environmental Protection Agency.