More than 1.4 million people live in the City of Orlando (Fla.) and this number is growing. The city also is home to some of the state’s most fertile agricultural areas and the headquarters for large companies. This growing need for water services required an expansion of wastewater treatment. In addition the area faced a state requirement for eliminating discharge of treated effluent to surface waters.
In response, Orange County (Fla.) and the City of Orlando began developing an integrated water reclamation program. Working together, the city and county created the Eastern Regional Reclaim Water Distribution System.
The Eastern Regional Reclaim Water Distribution System circles Central Florida and provides reclaimed water, which is pumped into the system from both Orange County and the City of Orlando, to residential and commercial customers. As the first reuse program permitted in Florida and one of the largest in the country, the system provides approximately 28 million gal/day of reclaimed water for crop irrigation.
The project’s major challenge was recognized only after the formation of the system. Four different pump stations on the system were all vying to pump at the same time, creating competition to put water into the system and causing problems with pressure and maintenance.
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