The Butler Drive Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) in Peoria, Ariz., recently claimed its second national project-of-the-year award when the WateReuse Association gave the innovative facility its top project award in the large-project category. The association’s annual awards recognize projects and individuals that advance the beneficial and efficient use of water resources through education, sound science and technology using reclamation, recycling, reuse or desalination for the benefit of the public and the environment. Earlier this year, the Black & Veatch-designed facility was named as national Project of the Year in the Environment (More than $75 million) category by the American Public Works Association (APWA).
Peoria is located in an arid desert environment, where ensuring long-term water resources is critical. The Butler Drive WRF, which currently produces approximately 8 million gallons of water each day (mgd), began operating in July 2008. It features the largest membrane bioreactor (MBR) in North America. Use of MBR technology to produce high-quality effluent for aquifer recharge allows the growing city to earn water credits and therefore extract the equivalent amount of water from the aquifer to augment its supply and meet future needs. With the future addition of several membrane cassettes, the facility will ultimately produce up to 13 mgd of water for aquifer recharge.
Black & Veatch provided design and construction-phase services for the $135 million facility. The full treatment process includes fine screens, activated sludge with biological nitrogen removal, and UV disinfection as well as membrane filtration. Low-profile structures and effective odor control make the WRF a good neighbor.
The Butler Drive WRF has earned additional awards at the state and regional levels, including 2009 Water Reuse Project of the year by AZ Water (formerly the Arizona Water & Pollution Control Association) and the 2008 Service to Communities – Municipal Award in the Best of the West Awards by the Western Maricopa Coalition.