Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been treated and processed to a level of quality appropriate for reuse. The terms reclaimed water and effluent reuse are often used interchangeably.
Reclaimed water is an additional source of water that would not otherwise be available. It reduces the pressure on more conventional water supplies.
In Arizona, approximately 40 percent percent of all water used at home is used indoors (bathroom and kitchen use). If the home is connected to the city’s sanitation system, nearly all the water used indoors enters the city’s wastewater system and can be reused after appropriate treatment.
Glendale owns and operates two wastewater reclamation facilities. At the Arrowhead Water Reclamation Facility, reclaimed water is stored in a system of lakes at Arrowhead Ranch and used to irrigate golf courses and common landscaped areas. The reclaimed water from the West Area Water Reclamation Facility is being used to recharge the aquifer and generate water storage credits that can be used in the future.
Glendale reclaimed approximately 12,000 acre-feet (equal to about 24 percent of the city’s drinking water demand) of water in 2005.
Both of Glendale’s water reclamation facilities produce reclaimed water that is classified as Class A+ quality (the highest level of quality) by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The treated effluent is filtered and free of viruses.
The city also owns wastewater treatment capacity at the regional facility operated by the city of Phoenix. Some of the effluent from this facility is contractually obligated to an irrigation company and a nuclear power facility. The remainder of the effluent is used for the Tres Rios wetlands restoration project located in the vicinity of the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers.