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Testing Groundwater Recharge Strategies with Recycled Water 

What’s the purple hydrant and pipe about?

Post Date: 7/30/2021


Flagstaff Water Services is taking an exciting first step in evaluating idPhoto and caption 1eal locations for aquifer recharge of our Class A+ reclaimed water, working toward a reliable water future.

Last year, seepage studies were conducted in three washes around town to measure infiltration rates for aquifer recharge, where a newly installed purple hydrant released 500 to 1,000 gallons per minute of reclaimed water. 

About 20% of the City’s annual reclaimed water resource is used by customers, with another 10% released into the Rio de FlaPhoto and caption 2g wash to satisfy an agreement the City has with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, supporting riparian habitat. This leaves 70% of reclaimed water available to earn aquifer recharge credits through the Arizona Department of Water Resources programs. Currently, the excess water is discharged to the Rio de Flag, complying with the state discharge permit for water quality, but not necessarily providing an intentional water resource benefit to the Flagstaff community.

Indirect aquifer recharge is one of several options under consideration in the Reclaimed Water Master Plan, which will guide the best and highest use of uncommitted reclaimed water.

The results of the seepage study are available on pages 16 and 17 of the Report to the Water Commission. Whether for a short term or long-term benefit, this project informs just one of many options that support a sustainable water management future for the Flagstaff community.

Questions or comments? Reply to or call Lisa Deem, at (928) 213-2471

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Blog Archive


June: Managing Flagstaff's Sewer Infrastructure with GIS Technology (PDF)

May: Flagstaff Plans for a New Groundwater Well in its Portfolio (PDF)

April: Coconino Estates Improvements Continue This Summer (PDF)

March: Keep Flagstaff's Water Clean: Only Snow and Rain in Stormwater Drains (PDF)

February: Rio de Flag Water Reclamation Plant Receives Necessary Upgrades (PDF)

January: McAllister Well and Pumphouse Adds Capacity to our Water System (PDF)


December: Woody Mountain Clarifier Project Wraps Up 2020 Capital Improvements (PDF)

November: Updates on Capital Improvement Projects Started in Summer 2020 (PDF)

October: Planning for Flagstaff's Water Future (PDF)

September: Flagstaff Water Services Receives Two National Water Conservation Awards (PDF)

August: Updates on Stormwater Maintenance in Flagstaff (PDF)

July: Ground-Breaking Infrastructure Upgrades Continue This Summer (PDF)

June: Focus on Infrastructure Development for Summer 2020 (PDF)

May: Brad Hill, Water Services Director, Retires After 12 Dedicated Years (PDF)

April: Keeping Your Water Clean and Safe (PDF)

March: Linda Vista Drive Construction Tackles Two Water Projects Simultaneously (PDF)

February: Are There "Forever Chemicals" in Our Drinking Water? (PDF)

January: Planning for the Next Decade (PDF)


July: Inner Basin Pipeline repaired just in time to aid Fire Operations (PDF)

June: Control Room Modernization at Lake Mary Water Treatment Plant (PDF)

February: Upgrades at Rio Water Reclamation Plant Improve Efficiency & Safety (PDF)


December: NAU and Flagstaff Water Services Create Winning Partnerships (PDF)

November: I-40 Transmission Line (PDF)

June: New Aerator Protects Aquatic Life in Frances Short Pond (PDF)

May: How TV Vans are a Driving Force for Efficiency (PDF)

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