APWA Chapter Recognizes Fillmore Water Recycling Plant

The Ventura County (Calif.) Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) recently named American Water's Fillmore Water Recycling Plant Project of the Year in the Water/Wastewater category, according to an American Water press release.

The facility is a state-of-the-art zero-discharge wastewater treatment plant that was designed, built, and is being operated by American Water in a public-private partnership with the City of Fillmore. The Fillmore Water Recycling Plant was completed in August 2009, and received certification to begin operations in September 2009.

“We are honored that the industry has chosen to recognize the City of Fillmore and American Water for this unique system,” said Mark Strauss, president of American Water Enterprise Group, the non-regulated operations business unit of American Water. “The City of Fillmore has been an extraordinary partner in this effort. Their commitment to creating an innovative facility that benefits the region in so many ways serves as a model for other cities nationwide.”

“It is very humbling to have our Water Recycling Program to be chosen to the Project of the Year by American Public Works Association. This has been a challenging project but made much easier and better with the help of American Water who brought innovation, efficiency and cost savings to the table and made this project happen,” said Bert Rapp, City of Fillmore Public Works director.

In response to a consent degree order to dramatically improve the quality of treated wastewater discharges to the Santa Clara River, the city contracted with American Water to build a facility to produce high quality filtered and disinfected water to meet the stringent standards required for surface and sub-surface irrigation of public and private facilities. The result is a facility that can treat 1.8 million gallons of water per day that meets the requirements of federal and state regulations as a zero discharge facility and an irrigation system providing water to schools, parks, and other greenbelt areas.

The plant currently produces 1 million gallons of water that meets the standards for unrestricted reuse irrigation purposes. The current irrigation system provides 200,000 gallons per day to two public schools, the new Two Rivers Park and a new greenbelt along a historic railroad in downtown Fillmore. About 800,000 gallons per day is discharged to an underground effluent disposal system that provides groundwater recharge. The irrigation system has reduced the use of potable water sufficiently enough to allow the city to postpone drilling a new well and has helped preserve its limited supply of quality potable water.

The plant also features advanced technology that maximizes energy efficiency, helping to keep costs down. A flow-equalization system minimizes water flow during the day, when cost and energy use is highest. Wastewater is cycled back into the plant where it is treated during off peak hours, when power demand and cost are lower.

The plant also won an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies California Chapter.

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