Reddy Chitepu, Director, Dept. of Environmental and Engineering Services
Water is a precious but limited resource that is necessary to sustain ourselves, our environment, and our economy. From domestic to electricity generation to recreation to food production and manufacturing, water is used in all aspects of our lives. With a growing population and a changing pattern of rainfall, it is important that we are prudent in using our existing water supply. Conserving water is not only good for the environment, but also our bank accounts. Conserving water helps reduce water bills and is often the most cost-effective way to ensure an adequate water supply. Water conservation can also minimize or defer costly infrastructure projects like treatment plant expansion or utilizing alternative sources of water. Through water conservation, we can help ensure that there continues to be an adequate supply of affordable water for generations to come.
The City of Margate Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) utilizes Rotating Biological Contactors (RBCs) to treat wastewater, and is a critical unit process in the WWTP which allows the City to meet the plant operating permit requirements. The process requires daily flushing with large volumes of water to remove growth attached to the RBCs. In an effort to reduce the use of potable water for this treatment process, the City amended its WWTP operating permit with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to allow the City to reuse the treated effluent from the WWTP for flushing instead of potable water. This change has allowed the City to eliminate 15-20 million gallons of potable water use each month in the WWTP as process water, and reserve the additional potable water capacity for other uses throughout the City.