Groundbreaking held for $12.5M water quality project for Little Wekiva River
Today state and local partners gathered for a groundbreaking celebration to introduce A-FIRST, an innovative water preservation initiative, which is expected to significantly help improve water quality, help the region reuse reclaimed water more efficiently and save the state an estimated $15 million. The project will also create an estimated 4.5 million gallon per day (MGD) alternative supply of reclaimed water.
Altamonte-FDOT Integrated Reuse and Stormwater Treatment (A-FIRST) is the first partnership of its kind in Florida. The project combines traditional alternative water supply measures with innovative ap-proaches to stormwater management for a highly urbanized area and a major FDOT highway project (the Interstate 4 widening project). Over 4.5 MGD of alternative water supply will be created in the planning horizon by 1) transmitting excess reclaimed water from the Altamonte Springs Regional Water Reclamation Facility (also known as project Apricot) and by 2) collecting, treating, and reusing storm-water generated from Cranes Roost (a landlocked basin with pumped discharge) and from impervious areas associated with the Interstate 4 widening project. The overall project results in 4.5 MGD of alternative water supply and a substantial pollutant load reduction to the Little Wekiva River; 28,043 lbs/yr of TP and 62,659 lbs/yr of TN. Some of the project benefits include:
- Alleviates unmet water supply demands in west Central Florida (Apopka area)
- Substantially reduces groundwater augmentation pumping of reclaimed water in Apopka and Altamonte Springs springshed which will benefit spring flows
- Significantly reduces nutrient loading from non-point (surface waters/Cranes Roost) and point sources (RWRF) to the Little Wekiva River
- Addresses national NNC and TMDLs as well as the State’s regional Wekiva Parkway Protection Act goals for the area
- Addresses stormwater treatment needs for Interstate 4 in Altamonte Springs