U.S. Water News Online
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe officials say they will soon be
filling Town Lake with treated wastewater.
Although it may not sound appealing, city officials say reclaimed
wastewater would actually be cleaner than the water currently flowing
into Town Lake.
"Some people get a funny look on their face when you mention it,
but I don't have any comments from people who said out and out this
is something they wouldn't accept," said Basil Boyd, a Tempe water
Tempe wants to fill the lake with treated sewer water as a way of
conserving the drinking water supply.
The lake is now filled with water from water wells and Colorado
River water that crosses the desert via the Central Arizona Project.
Those sources can be used to quench a thirsty central Arizona.
Treated water from sewage plants nearly meets drinking water
standards but can't be used for that, so city officials say switching
water sources would free up water for drinking.
Because Tempe Town Lake would still meet safety standards, the
biggest hurdle would be the public perception of using treated
wastewater, said Don Hawkes, Tempe's water utilities manager.
"That's something that we'll need to educate people about," Hawkes
For the plan to be put into service, Tempe needs to install a
$10.7 million, 5-mile pipeline from the sewage plant to the lake. It
also needs state environmental officials to agree to it.
It could take two years to put treated water in the lake, Tempe
city officials said.
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