Advanced Water Purification
The Scottsdale Water Campus is home to the Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWT), one of the most sophisticated recycled water facilities in the world and the first permanent facility in Arizona – and only the third in the nation – permitted as a pilot program for advanced water purification (AWP).
The AWT is one of the largest potable water purification facilities in the world and can treat up to 20 million gallons of recycled water a day to a water quality standard that exceeds that of bottled water.
Advanced Water Purification
The Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWT) at the Scottsdale Water Campus has been performing indirect potable reuse – recharging ultra-purified water into the drinking water aquifer – for more than 30 years. The facility takes treated recycled water from the city’s conventional water reclamation plant and further treats it through ozonation, membrane ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet photolysis.
Select each tile below to see the purification process in action:
The finished water, often referred to as RO permeate or advance water purification (AWP), is then injected into a series of dry wells where it flows through an additional 400 feet of natural filtration, before reaching our drinking water aquifer, or sent to the Reclaimed Water Distribution System.
Scottsdale recharges nearly two-billion gallons of purified recycled water to replenish our drinking water annually. Due primarily to the AWT, Scottsdale has recharged over 70 billion gallons into regional aquifers since 1988.
In 2019, Scottsdale partnered with the state of Arizona to create criteria for monitoring and regulation of advanced water purification. This resulted in Scottsdale Water being issued the state's first permit for direct consumption of ultra-purified water.
Scottsdale is not sending the highly-purified (AWP) water into the drinking water system at this time, but continues to work with the State to finalize the next steps in the permitting process. In the meantime, Scottsdale will continue to meet customer needs through its diverse water supply portfolio, which includes putting this purified water into the aquifer for future use. Other Arizona cities recognize the value in this additional water resource and are actively pursuing AWP as a long-term water source.
Reclaimed Water Distribution System
Since the early 1990s, the city of Scottsdale has been providing non-potable water to 23 golf courses in north Scottsdale through a public-private partnership known as the Reclaimed Water Distribution System (RWDS). The RWDS is a complex system of pipelines, booster pump stations and reclaimed and advanced water treatment facilities capable of delivering 20 million gallons a day of non-potable water for turf irrigation specifically to RWDS member clubs.
The RWDS was first conceived and negotiated by Desert Mountain Properties and the city of Scottsdale as a means of terminating north Scottsdale golf courses’ reliance on precious groundwater resources for irrigation. Through the agreement, Desert Mountain and 12 other golf clubs have invested $30 million to build and fund capital improvements to the system and are contributing a subsequent $22.5 million toward the expansion of the Advanced Water Treatment Facility to improve the quality of water being delivered.
Today, the city of Scottsdale owns and operates the RWDS with member clubs paying for both their respective water purchases and 100 percent of the system’s collective maintenance, operation and capital costs.
In the non-peak months when the courses do not need their daily water allotments, the city uses the excess purified water from the Advanced Water Treatment Facility for aquifer recharge through indirect potable reuse, further advancing Scottsdale’s long-term water sustainability.