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City of Altamonte Recognized with IWA Innovation Award

Release Date: October 5, 2018

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City of Altamonte Recognized with IWA Innovations Award

Walnut Creek, Calif. – The City of Altamonte Springs was recently awarded an IWA Innovation Award for their Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) demonstration system. The 2018 award for “Market-changing Water Technology and Infrastructure” celebrates innovations in water and wastewater technologies and infrastructure. Carollo Engineers served as the Engineer of Record on the project and was responsible for layout of facilities, purchase of major process elements, design of the test plan and analysis and summary of the water quality results.

As a result of population increase and dwindling Floridian aquifer levels, experts expressed concern that the state would soon lack enough groundwater to satisfy the public’s drinking water needs. In addition, much of the annual rainfall is lost to the ocean through past “ditch and drain” practices that provide flood protection. The periodic, prolonged droughts have also added stress to water supply sources.

To address this vital issue, the City created an innovative pilot that evaluates a safe, reliable and drought-resistant water source for the community. The City looked toward innovation as the solution – and is leading the potable reuse industry by exploring a unique approach to water purification that centers on ozone and biological filtration. After a year in operation, the approach showed removal of pathogens, drinking water pollutants, and trace organic contaminants reliably meeting all applicable drinking water standards and industry guidelines for potable reuse. Prior to this project, the technology has never been tested as a standalone treatment solution for future drinking water supplies – making it a unique alternative to utilities unable to employ Reverse Osmosis (RO.)

“We are proud to stand among such exceptional water projects,” said Frank Martz, Altamonte Springs City Manager. “Water is essential for everyone on the planet, and we are focused on finding and sharing water preservation solutions. Taking steps to do so was a major goal for the City of Altamonte Springs, and we’re deeply humbled to receive this international recognition.”

The project had four primary goals to achieve at the end of the yearlong DPR demonstration:

  • The first goal was to provide extensive technical data demonstrating removal of chemicals and pathogens, resulting in a high quality new water supply. The City continually shares their experience with public agencies through public tours, on-site technical presentations, and presenting findings at conferences. Other utilities have been inspired to adopt similar technologies.
  • They wanted to offer guidance to local regulatory and compliance agencies on development of a framework for DPR rules in Florida. This was met by extensive performance reports that were made available to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
  • They needed to compute operations cost for a cost-effective alternative to RO for DPR. This was made possible through collected data, which was used to develop capital and operational costs that were established for the ozone-biofiltration based treatment, and compared to RO-based treatment which showed overall cost savings for the ozone-biofiltration option.
  • Finally, it was important to implement an element of public education and outreach to spread awareness of the future of the area’s water supplies. The City started a school education program to include tours of the project for students, as well as technical sessions for audiences ranging from public utilities to customers.

“We’re pleased that the City of Altamonte Springs was honored with the IWA Award,” said David Ammerman, Carollo Engineers. “We believe that this project has demonstrated the successful production of safe, reliable drinking water without RO, and we’re encouraged that this technology is already being considered in other regions of the United States – including California and Nevada. This shift within the potable reuse water industry is exciting, and we’re hopeful that the innovative treatment and cost-effective operations will serve as a model for other cities.”

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