Chandlerís recycled water enough to fill Town Lake ó twice

Although thereís still progress to be made, Chandler has captured the limelight in the latest battle for water conservation.

George Harvey was honored May 25 for his departmentís efforts to recycle industrial wastewater instead of letting it go down the drain.

"It was nice to be recognized by a lot of people I look up to," said Harvey, superintendent of the reverse osmosis facility located just west of the Price Freeway and south of Queen Creek Road.

Harvey was recognized for helping to enact environmentally sound and cost-saving innovations at the city facility.

Chandler also received awards from the Arizona Water and Pollution Control Association for what judges say is the cityís superior commitment to treatment-plant safety and innovative operational practices.

Chandler partnered with Intel in 1994 to build the state-of-the-art facility to recycle Intel's industrial process water. The water is cleaned using a reverse osmosis and microfiltration process and then returned to the aquifer. 

Since its opening, the facility has returned more than two billion gallons of water to aquifers below Chandler--enough, officials say, to fill Tempe Town Lake more than twice.

Thanks to Chandlerís efforts, officials say the water used to fill the cityís lakes, fountains and other public-landscape features is from the supply generated at the reverse osmosis facility rather than extracted from drinking-water reserves.

Chandler also won awards for its in-house design of a device that prevents fouling in the water-treatment equipment, saving taxpayers almost $70,000, and for reducing electricity use by up to 20 percent.

Another award paid tribute to the plantís record of no lost-time accidents for nearly eight years.