Advanced Purified Water Demonstration Project at American Flat
What is the Project?
The Advanced Purified Water Demonstration Project (APWD Project) will help to evaluate and determine if the State of Nevada’s Category A+ reclaimed water quality (advanced purified water) offers regional long-range water supply benefits. The project will do this by building a demonstration project to test the feasibility and operational aspects of aquifer storage and recovery using advanced purified water.
The purpose of this page is to provide background on a few of the key concepts, which will be helpful in understanding the project, its participants and how it all fits together.
Introduction to OneWater Nevada
The American Flat Demonstration Project will be conducted under the auspices of OneWater Nevada–a collaborative approach to water resource management being supported by the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility, Northern Nevada Water Planning Commission, Western Regional Water Commission, and the University of Nevada, Reno. OneWater Nevada serves as the umbrella to help address northern Nevada’s long-term water-reliability needs. This initiative provides utilities, academic, and professional practitioners the flexibility to investigate various water and wastewater management options that typically would not be viably performed by an independent agency.
A+ pilot study at RSWRF (First permit in NV and it was a success)
Since 2017, OneWater Nevada has been studying various advanced water treatment technologies at a pilot-scale to determine if advanced purified water (Category A+) could provide long-term benefits for the region’s water future. The quality of Category A+ water meets all Federal and State of Nevada drinking water standards and is intended for aquifer storage and recovery. Category A+ quality is achieved through a combination of advanced water treatment processes and natural groundwater filtration and storage. The pilot study at the Reno Stead Water Reclamation Facility (RSWRF) was completed in 2020 and was augmented by a panel of international water quality experts offering feedback and guidance on the study’s goals and approaches. This project received the first advanced purified water (Category A+) groundwater injection permit in the State of Nevada. The pilot study injected advanced purified water at 8 gallons per minute into a controlled, local site at RSWRF for a 6-week period.
American Flat Injection and Feasibility Study
During the RSWRF advanced purified water pilot study, a groundwater investigation was occurring at American Flat Road (APN: 079-332-37). Three monitoring wells approximately 650-700 feet deep were installed. A series of aquifer tests and water quality analyses were initially performed. Potable drinking water was injected into the aquifer for 124 days while water levels were measured in the additional monitoring wells. This test was performed to determine the ability of the aquifer to store water over long periods. Information from this test was used to create a groundwater flow model. The main conclusion of the study was that up to 2.0 million gallons per day (MGD) of Category A+ water could be recharged for 25 to 50 years if nearly an equivalent amount is pumped out of the aquifer. The Desert Research Institute is currently performing groundwater geochemistry analyses to determine the compatibility of Category A+ water and native groundwater.
A+ at American Flat 2.0 MGD
The Advanced Purified Water (APW) Demonstration Project at American Flat is a groundwater recharge demonstration project undertaken by OneWater Nevada and led by the City of Reno and TMWA. The project goals include production of category A+ APW and testing of feasibility and operational aspects of aquifer storage and recovery using 1 to 2 million gallons per day of APW. The project includes conveyance of category A reclaimed water from the Reno-Stead Water Reclamation Facility (RSWRF) to the APW Facility for advanced treatment. Finished water from the APW facility will be injected into the underground aquifer at the American Flat Site (APN 079-332-36 and 079-332-37) after the initial phase of testing and monitoring is completed. As part of the full-scale demonstration of groundwater recharge, the stored water from the aquifer will be extracted and used for irrigation and other non-potable uses. Following the demonstration period, stored water could potentially be used for potable uses including the issuance of new will serve commitments in the future. The project involves improvements at RSWRF, a new APW facility, provisions for the future OneWater Center, the APW export pump station, a conveyance pipeline, a polishing facility, and injection, monitoring, and extraction wells.