Altamonte Springs, Fla., Announces Water Preservation Initiative
City’s new water reclamation system has regional environmental benefits and cost savings
The city of Altamonte Springs, Fla., will host a groundbreaking event to introduce A-FIRST, its water preservation initiative that is expected to help the region reuse reclaimed water more efficiently and save the state an estimated $15 million.
Expected to join Altamonte Springs Mayor Pat Bates in the groundbreaking program are FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad, FDEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard, State Sen. David Simmons, Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine and SJRWDM Executive Director Hans G. Tanzler III.
The event will take place at 10 a.m., Friday, June 13 at San Sebastian Trailhead, 882 W. State Rd. 436 in Altamonte Springs.
By establishing unprecedented strategic partnerships with Florida’s departments of Transportation, Environmental Protection, the St. Johns Water Management District and the city of Apopka, Altamonte Springs has connected multiple government groups and created a unique storm water management program benefitting taxpayers fiscally and environmentally.
The Altamonte-FDOT Integrated Reuse and Storm Water Treatment program or A-FIRST, combines both traditional and creative engineering approaches to storm water management that dramatically increase alternative reclaimed water supplies and significantly reduce pollutant loads to the Little Wekiva River. Additionally, this project will provide the nearby city of Apopka with excess reclaimed water, reducing that city’s impact on Florida’s aquifer.
Specifically, Altamonte Springs’ A-FIRST program:
- Has never been done in Florida and is possibly the first in the country
- Will save the state of Florida an estimated $15 million by eliminating the construction of interstate bridges for flood storage and state-owned retention ponds and associated maintenance
- Will create an estimated 4.5 million gpd alternative supply of reclaimed water
- Is a business-oriented, government solution
- Will reduce demand on Florida’s aquifer
- Will immediately reduce nutrient loading to Little Wekiva River
Stated simply, A-FIRST is designed to capture storm water, treat it to reclaimed water standards so it can be used for irrigation rather than it being wasted or lost. Altamonte Springs created the concept, strategically designed the partnerships and will construct the pipeline and operate and maintain the project. Construction is expected to take 18 months, with A-FIRST going live in November 2015.