The Scottsdale Water Campus is home to one of the most sophisticated recycled water facilities in the world.
The Water Campus has multiple distinct components: the Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), which produces tertiary effluent, the Advanced Water Treatment facility, which further treats effluent for aquifer recharge, a recharge well field with 63 injection wells and a state-of-the-art water quality lab. (The Water Campus also houses a 70 million gallon a day capacity, drinking water treatment facility.)
Water in the desert – it’s too valuable to use only once! Scottsdale identified the need for turning our wastewater into an asset back in the 1990s. Today, we are a global leader in water sustainability and reuse.
Water in the desert – it’s too valuable to use only once! Through smart investments and innovative technology, Scottsdale has created a source for groundwater while supporting one of Scottsdale’s most important industries.
Indirect Potable Reuse
Indirect potable reuse is the process of treating wastewater to levels that exceed drinking water standards and then injecting that ultrapure water into the aquifer to augment future groundwater supplies. Scottsdale Water operates one of largest and most advanced indirect potable reuse facilities in the world and has been an industry leader in this realm since the facility began operation in October of 1998.
Tertiary effluent from the Water Reclamation Plant is sent to the Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) Plant where it is treated through microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection. Finished water from the AWT is purified to a level that exceeds all drinking water quality standards.
That finished water, often referred to as RO permeate, is then sent to the Reclaimed Water Distribution System or injected into a series of dry wells where it flows through an additional 400 feet of natural filtration, known as the vadose zone, before reaching our drinking water aquifer.
Scottsdale recharges over 1.7 billion gallons of purified recycled water to replenish our drinking water annually.
The Advanced Water Treatment facility in north Scottsdale is one of the largest, most innovative water purification plants in the world. The process includes ozonation/chloramination, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection.
Scottsdale’s recycled water is so purified, it exceeds all drinking water quality standards and is actually cleaner than the groundwater in the aquifer we are recharging.
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.
Scottsdale’s innovative partnership with 23 golf courses has allowed the city to expand our water purification and recharge operations at no cost to other Scottsdale Water customers.
The Scottsdale Water Campus does not have any public tours scheduled at this time. To be notified about future tours please email us at WaterAcademy@ScottsdaleAZ.gov.