The WateReuse Association awarded a high-tech treatment facility that recycles wastewater for manufacturing and irrigation use for its "Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Water Use."
The association recognised the public-private partnership between the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (HBWS) and USFilter, Memcor's parent company, for its advanced water recycling and preservation, environmental sustainability and increased public education of water reuse.
Faced with prolonged droughts, dry winters and hot summers, Oahu's groundwater aquifers have been constantly challenged in meeting the island's needs. A federal consent decree required the city and county of Honolulu to recycle 37 million litres per day (Mld) of water by July 2001, and limit the amount of wastewater effluent discharged into the Pacific Ocean or face very stiff penalties for non-compliance.
In response, the new partnership resulted in the design, construction and current operation by USFilter of a 49-Mld facility that uses Memcor microfiltration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet sterilisation and other technologies to recycle treated wastewater effluent and generate two grades of water.
"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," HBWS Manager and Chief Engineer Clifford Jamile explained. "Efforts like this also help us keep rates down for the user because we've saved millions of dollars that would have otherwise been required to develop additional groundwater resources."