WateReuse Association Recognizes Beneficial Water Reuse Program at Honolulu Treatment Plant

Water for Irrigation and Manufacturing Provided by Unique Reclaim Plant

A high-tech treatment facility that recycles wastewater for manufacturing and irrigation use was recognized by the WateReuse Association at its 2003 symposium.

A public-private partnership between the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (HBWS) and USFilter Operating Services, Inc., was presented with the "Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Water Use" award. The award recognizes programs that advance water recycling and preservation, sustain the environment and increase public education of water reuse.

"Despite the fact that we're surrounded by an ocean, water is one of Hawaii's most precious natural resources. Our state-of-the-art wastewater reclamation facility enables us to maximize the use of reclaimed water, which allows us to then preserve and protect Hawaii's drinking water supplies," said HBWS manager and chief engineer Clifford Jamile.

Faced with prolonged droughts, dry winters and hot summers, Oahu's groundwater aquifers have been historically challenged in meeting the island's needs. During the late 1990s, the island's water issues were compounded by a federal consent decree requiring the City and County of Honolulu to recycle 10 million gallons per day of water by July 2001 and limit the amount of wastewater effluent discharged into the Pacific Ocean or face stiff penalties for non-compliance.

The answer came in the form of a public-private partnership. USFilter designed, built and now operates a 13-million-gallons-per-day (mgd) facility that uses microfiltration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet and other technologies to recycle treated wastewater effluent and generate two grades of water.

One grade is high in purity and sold to power and refining companies. The second grade is treated to the highest levels as regulated by the Hawaii State Department of Health and used by the City and County of Honolulu for irrigation purposes.

"Every drop of reclaimed water we use for irrigation, industry and other non-drinking purposes allows us to save a drop of groundwater for use by citizens," Jamile said. "Efforts like this also help us keep rates down for the user because we've saved millions of dollars that would have been required to develop additional groundwater resources."

According to the WateReuse Association, reclaimed water has been used for landscaping, agriculture, industrial processing and groundwater replenishment.

"This award confirms the ability of the public and private sectors to work hand-in-hand to improve the quality of life for all citizens," said Mike Stark, president of USFilter Services Group.

USFilter's CMF(R) continuous microfiltration process removes particles and bacteria from the wastewater prior to a reverse osmosis treatment process also provided by USFilter. USFilter's Zimpro Products Hydro-Clear(R) filter system is used for wastewater polishing.

"The WateReuse Association is proud to recognize the Honolulu Board of Water Supply's water reuse program and the benefits to their customers resulting from their public-private partnership with USFilter," said Wade Miller, executive director of the WateReuse Association.


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