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Alternative Water Supply

During the 2005 State Legislative Session a bill creating the Water Protection and Sustainability Program, or SB444, was enacted, providing significant state funding for Alternative Water Supply Projects that are identified in the Water Management Districts' Regional Water Supply Plans.

Alternative Water Supply Projects are defined as:

  • saltwater & brackish water
  • surface water captured predominately during wet-weather flows
  • sources made available through the addition of new storage capacity
  • reclaimed water
  • stormwater (for use by a consumptive use permittee)
  • any other source designated as nontraditional in a regional water supply plan

Water Reuse

Water reuse plays an important role in water resource, wastewater, and ecosystem management in Florida. It reduces demands on valuable surface and ground water, sources used for drinking water. Reclaimed water also reduces discharges to surface waters, recharges groundwater, and postpones costly investment for development of new water sources and supplies. Water reuse has allowed some communities to continue to grow where the availability of historically used freshwater sources has become extremely limited.

Water reuse involves taking domestic wastewater, giving it a high degree of treatment, and using the resulting high-quality reclaimed water for a new, beneficial purpose. The resulting water is called reclaimed water. Extensive treatment and disinfection ensure that public health and environmental quality are protected. Reclaimed water can be used for many purposes including:

  • Irrigation of golf courses, parks, residential properties, highway medians, and other landscaped areas.
  • Urban uses such as toilet flushing, car washing, dust control, and aesthetic purposes (i.e. decorative lakes, ponds, and fountains)
  • Agricultural uses such as irrigation of edible food crops such as, citrus, corn, and soybeans; other crops such as, pasture lands, grasslands, and other feed and fodder crops; and irrigation at nurseries
  • Wetlands creation, restoration and enhancement
  • Recharging ground water with the use of rapid infiltration basins (percolation ponds), absorption fields, and direct injection to ground waters
  • Augmentation of surface waters that are used for drinking water supplies
  • Industrial uses including plant wash down, processing water, and cooling water purposes

Continuous monitoring of the reclaimed water is required and ensures excellent water quality for protection of the public and the environment. The Florida Department of Health has stated a reuse facility designed, constructed, and operated in accordance with applicable rules poses no threat to public health. The use of reclaimed water has increased significantly throughout the nation, state, and district for all types of uses.

Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR)

Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) is defined as the storage of freshwater in an aquifer by injecting water through the wells during wet periods for subsequent retrieval from these same wells during dry periods.  The freshwater forms a bubble of injected water within the aquifer around the ASR well, and it can be retrieved when needed to meet seasonal, long-term, emergency or other demands.  During the past ten years, ASR technology has evolved from merely a concept to a proven, cost-effective and environmentally desirable water management too.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse osmosis is a process used to purify concentrated solutions of dissolved minerals and salts. Reverse osmosis involves forcing water through a semipermeable membrane under high pressure, leaving the dissolved salts and other solutes behind on the surface of the membrane.

Satellite Reuse

Wastewater is extracted from sewage and then treat it to produce a very high quality reclaimed water for irrigation purposes.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Wed May 14, 2014 9:52:27 AM
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