In March 1995, the City Commission approved the Reuse Project which would involve construction of Rapid Infiltration Basins (RIBs) in Phase I for 100% disposal of treated effluent. A public access irrigation would be developed in Phase II & Phase III with the RIBs being used to dispose of excess water during periods of low irrigation demands.
To meet the requirements for renewal of its wastewater treatment plant operating permit, the City constructed Reuse Phase I, a Rapid-Rate Land Application System utilizing a series of RIBs on high sandy land east of US 27, south of Lake Belle. The treated effluent is pumped from a pumping station at the Sam P. Robinson Reclaimed Water Treatment Plant located on Henry Street through a 20" Force Main approximately 14,000 feet to RIBs site. The reuse water flows into the RIBS at a low pressure (5 to 10 psi) which allows flow into the RIBs with little erosion. Reuse Phase I was fully operational in August 1998.
Reuse Phase II involves Slow-Rate Land Application Systems for public access irrigation and consists of building a two million gallon storage tank and a pump building with pumps at the RIBs site and improvements at the Sam P. Robinson Reclaimed Water Treatment Plant to provide Class I Reliability which is required by DEP for public access. The pumps and building are necessary to increase the low pressure at which the reuse water arrives at the site. Phase III completes the project with the laying of transmission lines to distribute reclaimed water to the end users.
To fund the $3.4 million project, the City has obtained a $1.4 million grant from SWFWMD and low interest loans from the DEP State Revolving Fund (SRF). A condition of the SWFWMD grant requires the City to beneficially reuse 250,000 gallons per day of reclaimed water. Further, the City views reuse of reclaimed water as an environmentally and economically sound policy to conserve our water supply, particularly during this current period of drought conditions. In order to accomplish our goals for beneficial reuse and water conservation, the City will supply reclaimed water to irrigate lawns and landscaping at the Longleaf Business Park, the soccer/multi-purpose field on Hunt Brothers Rd, the Lake Wales Country Club, and residential developments south of State Road 60.