Santaquin City Water Reclamation Facility
Santaquin City, UT

The Santaquin City Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project included planning, design, construction administration, funding support, and permitting of a 1.5 million gallon per day wastewater treatment facility. The facility utilizes innovative membrane bioreactor technology.

The Issues: Beginning in 2007, facing robust growth, Santaquin City leaders engaged in a planning process to address concerns about wastewater treatment within the community.   This effort revealed several key challenges: (1) a wastewater lagoon treatment system nearing capacity; (2) a possible effluent discharge location, Utah Lake, facing increasing regulatory scrutiny over nutrient impairments; (3) a secondary water irrigation system that would experience summertime deficits in supply. City leaders investigated a number of alternatives to address these challenges.

How we addressed the issues: Santaquin City, in conjunction with J-U-B Engineers, recognized the potential value of the irrigation water being generated by the City’s wastewater treatment facility.   With this knowledge, J-U-B and the City proposed a visionary approach that would serve to both treat municipal wastewater and generate a new water source for irrigation within the City’s residential pressurized irrigation system.   The approach utilized an innovative biological treatment technology known as a membrane bioreactor or MBR. The facility is located entirely indoors resulting in an aesthetically pleasing facility with low odor potential. The MBR makes very high quality water and at the same time has a modest footprint compared to other treatment technologies.

The Results: Santaquin City now has a long term reliable wastewater treatment, and at the same time produces a useful and essentially marketable reclaimed water product. This ‘new’ water provides a water bank that the City can draw upon as needed for current and future irrigation demands. The reclaimed water is classified as the highest quality ‘Type I’ water in accordance with Utah Division of Water Quality standards.

The Benefits: Although there are other facilities in the state of Utah producing Type I water and performing some reuse, the Santaquin WRF is the first facility in the state that will store and reuse 100 percent of its effluent in a residential secondary irrigation system. With this project, Santaquin City has established a model for sustainable water resource development in Utah and the Intermountain West. The system began producing and storing reclaimed water in November of 2013. In the summer of 2014 the City reused over 80 million gallons of Type I reclaimed water in the City’s pressurized irrigation system.

Awards or Recognition:

  • 2013 Award of Merit – Utah Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
  • 2013 Award of Distinction – Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA)