With the dry season over, Key Marco Community Development District (CDD) is reaping the benefits of a new pump station that captures normally wasted potable water, pumping it back to their lined irrigation pond for future irrigation use.

The seasonal lifestyle has the demand for potable water at Key Marco CDD low, at times causing the chlorine levels in water distribution lines to decay. In order to bring the chlorine levels back up to the required standard, the Collier County Water Sewer District (CCWSD) must flush volumes of water out of the system and replace it with chlorinated water. Each year, millions of gallons of water and thousands of dollars are lost during this process.

In a joint effort, Collier County, Key Marco CDD, CCWSD, and Johnson Engineering worked together to come up with a solution to recapture this water. Johnson Engineering’s Project Engineer, Erik Howard, P.E., P.S.M., designed a pump station that captures the flushed water into a lined irrigation pond.

Since the CCWSD is prohibited by law to provide free water, they are able to charge Key Marco for its use of the CCWSD’s flushed water monthly. It’s a win-win for all involved, as the CCWSD is recouping some of the value of the flushed water, and Key Marco CDD is purchasing it for less than they paid prior to supply the island with irrigation water. It is also a win for the environment because of the beneficial use of water that would have been otherwise lost. Efficient use of municipal potable water helps to defray future costs of water treatment facility expansions.

This project was a great opportunity to promote the smart and efficient use of water, thereby directly enhancing conservation efforts. For more information, contact Erik Howard, P.E., P.S.M., at [email protected].