May 8, 2007 – An innovative City of West Palm Beach water project has been recognized with two prestigious conservation awards. The Wetlands-Based Water Reclamation Project, which allows highly-treated wastewater to be used to restore environmentally-sensitive wetlands, has been honored with both the David York Reuse Award, given by the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), and the 2007 Environmental Project of the Year, given by the Florida Section of the American Public Works Association.
“These are great honors for this one-of-a-kind project,” said Mayor Lois Frankel. “These awards are especially noteworthy given our current drought. Our City is being recognized as a leader in the effort to conserve water and protect the environment.”
The Wetlands-Based Water Reclamation project uses groundbreaking methods to treat up to ten millions gallons of wastewater a day to a high level, allowing it to be discharged on to wetlands. Millions of gallons of water that would otherwise be lost instead helps recharge, replenish, and rehydrate those environmentally-sensitive areas. Discharging the water on to wetlands allows the City to be able to draw more of its drinking water from underground sources, reducing the City’s dependency on surface water and improving the taste and quality of the City’s water supply.
The reclamation project has previously been honored with an Engineering Excellence Award by the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers. It has also drawn interest from municipalities across the state that are seeking to create similar water conservation projects.