Arizona American Water Wins Water Reuse Award

Arizona American Water’s Northwest Valley team was given the Water Reuse Small Project of the Year award at the annual Arizona Water Reuse Conference in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The award is for innovative use of the Big Bubba Water Filter. The operation’s team invented a way to use the water filter for internal industrial use, reducing water consumption and cutting water costs by more than 50 percent annually.

“I’m extremely proud of the team at the Northwest Valley Facility for coming up with a savvy way to both save water and cut costs,” said Paul Townsley, president of Arizona American Water. “Everyone knows that we must be mindful of the water we use here in the desert, and, thanks to this team, we will save an additional 12 million gallons a year.”

Arizona American Water now reuses water from the facility’s 1.2 million gallon equalization basin by filtering the water with a water filter intended for normal drinking water. To meet time constraints and be cost effective, all work was done by in-house staff. Expenses for water have dropped more than $5,000 a month in the winter months and the plant now saves more than12 million gallons of water a year. In the fall of 2008, the company that manufactures the filter contacted Arizona American Water to learn more about the application of its filter in a wastewater treatment plant.

One of the unanticipated savings of the project was the elimination of the need to soften the water. Now that the wastewater treatment plant is reusing nonpotable water (wastewater) rather than potable water in the treatment process, the need to soften the potable water is eliminated. As a result, the bank of water softeners at the facility is offline, providing additional savings on maintenance and chemical expense, which is almost $10,000 a month.

Arizona American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 300,000 people.