Marana Water News: Recharge Project Underway

The Town of Marana has begun construction for an expansion to our Water Reclamation Facility as well as the new Marana Water Reclamation Facility Recharge Project.

The project started in early 2014 when Marana Water staff started meeting with stakeholders. The master plan for the project was completed in 2014 and design was finished in early 2016. By December 2016 construction had begun. Our current construction plans anticipate that the project will be completed in May 2018. This new project is in partnership with the expansion of the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) construction. The treated wastewater from the WRF will be used for the basins and recharged into the aquifer. The location was selected for proximity to the WRF, avoidance of the floodway, and with soil that could provide good infiltration rates so we could get the highest return. Check out the slideshow below to see the progress of the construction site from March 7 through May 2.

As part of its water portfolio, the Town receives water credits for treated effluent recharged back into the aquifer along with groundwater rights, long term storage credits, and our annual allocation of Central Arizona Project water. The addition of this recharge project gives more stability to the portfolio so Marana is able to keep up with demand and growth in the Town. The current phase of this project is anticipated to provide 1.5 million gallons per day of treated wastewater from the WRF. The WRF will provide A+ source water for the recharge basins. This is the highest class of reclaimed water determined by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Engineering rendering of the completed recharge basins first phase, and the connection to the WRF

Engineering rendering of the completed recharge basins first phase, and the connection to the WRF

Water is a valuable resource in Arizona and there are many regulations with how it used or diverted. In this case, Marana is required to get an Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The Town already has an APP issued for the WRF, and since the recharge basis are adjacent to the WRF, we were able to amend our existing permit to include the recharge project. In addition, the Town obtained New Underground Storage Facility and Water Storage permits from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. These are to ensure that the groundwater quality is protected and there will be no potential harm to the aquifer from our new project. Finally, we needed to get a Flood Plain Use permit since this site is within the existing flood plain.

Marana Water has many goals for this recharge project apart from the water resource potential. While it is not quite the same as Tucson Water’s Sweetwater Wetlands, it does provide the opportunity for educational events and recreational activities once it is up and running. In the long-term, the Town could invest in walking trails, ramadas, restrooms, and other amenities.

Our commitment to sustainability and resiliency of our service is second to none. Projects like this recharge facility and the expansion of the WRF put in place sustainable options for manageable growth. For more information on the WRF, check out our Water Reclamation page here.

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