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GRU

Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility History

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Excellence Since 1977

History

Bordering Lake Kanapaha on SW 63 Boulevard and located on 150 acres, the Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility opened in 1977 to serve customers in Gainesville's growing northwest and southwest areas.

The Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility site was prominent in early Florida history. The Kanapaha site is located near where famed naturalist William Bartram wrote about the beauty and abundance of nature around Lake Kanapaha. Most of the property was purchased in the early 1970s from Carlos Proctor who once raised cattle on the property. Previously, Seminole Indians traveling in the area often used the property as a rest stop. Indian artifacts are frequently found in this area. "Old Stagecoach Road" (now 63 Boulevard) was the existing stagecoach route between Tallahassee and South Florida during the 19th Century.

Plans for the Kanapaha Plant began in 1975. A new $14 million plant was funded jointly by the Regional Utilities Board (GRU's predecessor) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A federal grant provided 85 percent of the construction funds. The plant construction was completed and the Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility was operational in 1977.

In 1984, the plant was expanded to treat 10 million gallons of wastewater by the addition of two clarifiers and two anoxic basins. Another $1.2 million EPA grant helped defray the cost of further upgrades in 1990, including construction of a new biosolids thickening facility, a digester and a biosolids loading station.

In 1992, plans were underway to increase plant wastewater capacity to 14.9 million gallons per day and to expand the reclaimed water system to new areas.

2003 Expansion and Water Reuse Program

The Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility included a $10.1 million expansion and upgrade to the plant's treatment processes. The construction increases the permitted plant capacity from 10 to 14.9 million gallons per day and shall sustain Gainesville's wastewater treatment requirements until 2018. The construction also has structural and mechanical provisions for a future expansion to increase the facility's permitted plant capacity to 17.5 million gallons per day.

The expansion of the facility includes a new, cost effective and easy-to-operate Dorr-Oliver EIMCO Carrousel System, two secondary clarifiers, and a mixed liquor splitter box. Other items that have been added are two Severn-Trent filters, a RAS/WAS (return activated sludge and waste activated sludge) pumping station and an electrical building with a diesel backup engine generator.

Upgrades to the facility include installing slide gates, a Vulcan Industries bar screen and a Smith and Loveless PISTA grit removal system to the Headworks structure. Four existing clarifiers and two motor control centers also will be renovated.

The Kanapaha Water Reclamation Facility continues to be a state-of the-art plant and a leader in refining methods. The plant treats wastewater to drinking water standards and then reuses the water for innovative irrigation. Because its wastewater is treated to such high standards, the first reuse site in 1993 was the nearby Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens demonstrates the beauty of reclaimed water to create natural looking spring boils, waterfalls, streams and bog gardens that feature plants, trees and a wildlife sanctuary.

The Water Reuse Programs were expanded and currently include Haile Plantation for use in irrigation of common grounds and existing golf courses, Alachua County Kanapaha Veteran's Park, Chapman's Pond and Nature Trails, TREEO Water Gardens and Kanapaha Middle School.

Reuse of reclaimed water continues to be used in innovative ways to benefit Gainesville citizens and businesses and will help ensure that a plentiful, high quality supply of drinking water is available for future generations.

Timeline

  • 1977 Kanapaha WRF Construction completed, 7 MGD
  • 1984 Expansion, 10 MGD
  • 1990 Upgrade which included a sludge thickening facility, digester, and sludge loading station
  • 1993 Water Reuse Program, the first reuse site was nearby Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
  • 2003 Current Water Reuse sites: Haile Plantation, Alachua County Kanapaha Veteran's Park, Chapman's Pond and Nature Trails, TREEO Water Gardens and Kanapaha Middle School
  • 2003 Kanapaha WRF Expansion, 14.9 million gallons per day. The expansion shall sustain Gainesville's wastewater treatment requirement until 2018