Broward County Presents Plan for Reclaimed Water System for Lighthouse Point Customers
County Gets the Ball Rolling — City Approval Process to Follow
By Marie Puleo, Lighthouse Point City Beat Reporter
Broward County made a presentation at a Lighthouse Point City Commission meeting about providing its water and wastewater customers in Lighthouse Point with a reclaimed water system for irrigation purposes. The new system would require customers to use only reclaimed water on their lawns and landscaping, not potable (drinking) water.
According to Broward County Water and Wastewater Services (BCWWS), construction of the reclaimed water system in Lighthouse Point may begin as soon as March 2022, and be completed by December 2024.
The southern part of the city has been receiving reclaimed water for irrigation as part of the City of Pompano Beach’s water system (the “purple pipe”).
City leaders will review the county’s plans and negotiate costs and how they will be paid.
“Our goal is to get the same pricing we paid for the Pompano Beach reuse hookup” according to Commissioner Kyle Van Buskirk.
That agreement required the City of Pompano Beach water service to absorb the initial costs for hookups to the reclaimed water system for single and multi-family homes which would be recovered from residents for water use over time. In most situations, homeowners have saved money as reclaimed water is cheaper.
Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been secondarily treated, filtered, disinfected and transformed into a product that is clear and odorless. It is not subject to the twice a week year round irrigation conservation rule.
As per county ordinance, customers will be required to connect to the reclaimed system if they have an existing irrigation system. The use of potable water for irrigation is prohibited if reclaimed water is available. This prohibition is effective 180 days after notification of availability of reclaimed water.
Broward County’s reclaimed, or reuse, water system is similar to the City of Pompano Beach reuse water system, known as OASIS. In 2017, Pompano Beach introduced the OASIS reuse system to its customers in Lighthouse Point. The first two construction phases in Lighthouse Point have been completed, and a third phase is slated to begin this fiscal year. Pompano’s service area in Lighthouse Point is at the southern end of the city, roughly between NE 24th Street and NE 31st Street, and east of Lighthouse Drive.
Broward County currently purchases 1 million gallons per month of reuse water from the City of Pompano Beach to serve its customers in Pompano Highlands.
Broward County will purchase additional reuse water from Pompano Beach to serve its future customers in Lighthouse Point. BCWWS estimates that up to 1 million gallons per day (MGD) will be required after the reuse system in Lighthouse Point is constructed and all customers have connected.
Broward County currently operates a 10 MGD reuse facility located at the North Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pompano Beach. The reuse facility is currently expanding to 26 MGD, with completion estimated for October 2021. The additional 16 MGD of reuse water is intended for future expansion to north and northwest Broward County, and to Palm Beach County.
The current estimated cost for Broward County’s reuse water project in Lighthouse Point is $42.5 million ($35.5 million construction, $7 million design). Funding for the project has already been budgeted by BCWWS.
The design is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete. According to BCWWS, public outreach usually takes place after the design has reached the 60 percent point.
A pump station may need to be built on the northwest corner of the Federal Highway and NE 49th Street intersection. This will be determined during the project design.
The project was presented to the Lighthouse Point City Commission last November by a member of the BCWWS Engineering Division.