Protecting our water assets
Although most people would rather flush and forget it, wastewater from sinks and toilets starts out as clean water which is very valuable resource to all of us living in this high desert. In Clarkdale, waste-water travels down to our treatment plant via gravity. Presently, we operate a two-lagoon treatment system processing an average of125,000 gallons of wastewater per day and yielding “B” grade effluent. Uses of this grade of effluent are quite limited.
Once treated via the two-lagoon system, the treated effluent is chlorinated and pumped to a storage tank from which it is sprayed over land and evaporated. Because water is so precious, losing it into thin air is not sustainable – especially because those of us in the Verde Valley are using more groundwater than is replenished through snow melt and rainfall. So…what can we do?
Upgrading our wastewater treatment process
ASU students visit Clarkdale’s
waste water treatment plantWith currently available technology, we can treat our wastewater to a much higher standard – “A+” – enabling
reuse of one of our most precious resources. In addition, through using a mechanical treatment process in lieu of
our current lagoon system, we can produce a very high quality effluent suitable for recharging our aquifer and
also mitigate concerns about our existing lagoon system and the periodic flooding of the Verde River. Another concern relates to the volume of water needing treatment, too. Right now, the amount of wastewater our current plant is permitted to treat is only 250,000 gallons per day and our projected wastewater volumes are
scheduled to grow necessitating expansion of our ability to process wastewater. ASU students visit Clarkdale’s waste water treatment plant.
To address these and other related concerns, the Town is working on upgrading our wastewater treatment
capacity to 350,000 gallons per day, to enclose the treatment process in tanks to reduce flooding concerns, and
to increase the quality of effluent to an A+ rating – one eligible for recharging back into the aquifer. In addition,
we’re working on a project to add solar energy generation to Town water and wastewater facilities to offset
power demands for such things as plant operations, pumping, facilities security and lighting and water purification.
Together these projects represent efforts united under the Town’s Sustainable Clarkdale initiative enabling us to
become an evolutionary solution for a sustainable community.
||Clarkdale's Current Wastewater Treatment Plant
|Potential Wastewater Treatment Plant Replacement