The City of Apopka began its wastewater treatment operations in 1972. The original permitted capacity of the wastewater treatment plant was two million gallons per day (mgd). The facility provided secondary treatment and basic disinfection using a Walker Process Package Plant. During that time, the treated effluent from the facility was disposed of via restricted access sprayfields located at the treatment facility.
In 1989, the facility was expanded to a permitted capacity of four million gallons per day (mgd) and the treatment process was upgraded to produce an effluent that was suitable for full public access reuse of the reclaimed water. The expansion of the facility included a two mgd advanced secondary treatment plant including:
- A Carousel Loop Aeration System
- Chlorine Contact Tanks
- Preliminary Treatment (Grit and Debris Removal)
- a Tertiary Filter System
- Two Secondary Clarifiers
Growth & Expansion
As of March 2016, the City serviced over 16,200 wastewater and 7,200 reclaimed water commercial and residential customers. This efficient use of our water resources resulted in the City being recognized with the David W York Reuse Award in 1997 for outstanding reuse system in the State of Florida.
In 1999, an additional tertiary filter system and chlorine contact tank was constructed. There were also two new high service reclaimed water distribution pumps installed boosting the public access reclaimed water production capacity to four million gallons per day. In 2004, the City re-rated the water reclamation facility from a capacity of 4.0 mgd to 4.5 mgd.
Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition
The Water Reclamation Facility is also equipped with a full service Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that monitors the operation of the facility 24 hours per day.
In the event of a treatment or equipment malfunction, the SCADA system computer contacts the operators via cell phone and verbally advises them of the malfunction and its location. This use of technology expedites the operator's ability to correct the problem and maintain quality service throughout the treatment process and insure compliance with the facility's operating permits.
Further Expansion Construction
In December 2016 construction for another expansion began of the water reclamation facility that will add an additional four million gallons per day of treatment capacity. This expansion not only expands the City's ability to produce more reclaimed water, but it also provides for enhanced nutrient removal in the treatment process and enable the City to comply with the Wekiva River Basin Protection Act. The facility will be able to produce reclaimed water with nitrogen levels of 5.0 mg/L and lower, which is at least half of the level permitted by the Act.
Through the continued growth and expansion of the City's reclaimed water system, the City has recognized the beneficial conservation impacts that the use of reclaimed water has had on our water supplies. In 2004, the City constructed the North Reuse Pump Station, which is located next to the Northwest Recreation Complex. This new pump station provided the City with the ability to further expand the reclaimed water system throughout the community and improve service to its users.
Reservoir & Pump Station
In 2008, the City constructed an 83 million gallon lined reservoir and pump station at the Northwest Recreation Complex. This reservoir is unique, in that it is a one of a kind source of reclaimed water for the North Reuse Pump Station. All stormwater collected in the Recreation Complex is collected and stored in the reservoir and reused as reclaimed water for irrigation. The reservoir is equipped with a built-in filtration system to remove particulate matter and turbidity from the collected water.
Surplus Reclaimed Water
The City can also store surplus reclaimed water from the water reclamation facility during wet weather periods when demand is low for irrigation. In 2010, the City installed three fountains in the reservoir to serve to improve the appearances for the community to enjoy and provide a source of aeration for the maintenance of the pond.
Additionally, the City has stocked the pond with grass carp to maintain vegetation levels in the reservoir. The grass carp are intended to serve as a green method of maintenance and reduce the City's dependence on the use of chemicals that could be harmful to the environment