Pilot & Demonstration
The city of Clearwater completed the pilot and demonstration phase of the Groundwater Replenishment Project in 2014. This phase included the construction and operation of a small-scale version of the proposed water purification plant at the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility. The pilot, which went online June 3, 2013, and operated for one year, took reclaimed water and treated it using various purification processes to create purified water. This purified water it produced is the proposed water to be injected back into the aquifer.
The pilot plant was successful. It tested the feasibility of adding up to 3-million gallons a day of purified water into a brackish water zone below the fresh water zone of the Upper Floridan Aquifer. Monitoring and testing was a large part of this pilot and demonstration phase. The purified water from the pilot well was tested on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. Results were gathered and analyzed throughout the pilot duration, through June 2014.
The limestone cores were tested for metals leachability using treated water from the pilot plant. The results of these tests were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment processes to prevent metals mobilization in the aquifer. A six-month recharge test using groundwater extracted from a freshwater zone of the Upper Floridan Aquifer was performed to collect data regarding the ability of the aquifer to accept the recharge water, and the travel time of injected water in the recharge zone.
The pilot phase demonstrated that it is viable to replenish the aquifer for future safe yields of groundwater for drinking water supply.