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Sustainable Water Recycling: Protecting Virginia's Future

Sustainable Water Recycling: Protecting Virginia's Future


Friday, April 15, 20116  at 1 pm in the Learning Commons Room in the Perry Library

Hosted by Dr. Rich Whittecar, Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Science and


Presented by The Hampton Roads Sanitation District Team :

Ted Henifin, General Manager; Charles Bott, PhD; Dan Holloway and Jamie Heisig-Mitchell


Sustainable Water Recycling: Protecting Virginia's Future

The residents of Hampton Roads send approximately 150 million gallons of water to Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) each day. HRSD cleans this water to exacting standards and returns it safely to area waterways. The cost to clean water is rising as new regulatory requirements are implemented to address current and future environmental goals. HRSD has long sought more sustainable uses for the valuable clean water it produces. To that end, HRSD commissioned a study to investigate the feasibility of applying additional treatment processes to the water HRSD currently returns to the environment to bring it to levels that exceed drinking water quality, then using that water to meet the groundwater supply needs of current and future generations throughout eastern Virginia. Groundwater in eastern Virginia is currently being utilized at an unsustainable rate, jeopardizing not only continued water supply but also contributing to land subsidence and saltwater contamination of the aquifer. HRSD modeled the effect of pumping 120 million gallons of drinking quality water daily into the Potomac aquifer at several HRSD plant locations in southeastern Virginia. The results show a positive impact on nearly the entire Potomac aquifer, increasing pressures west to the Fall Zone, as far north as Maryland and south beyond the North Carolina border. The increased pressure along the coast would also inhibit salt water contamination and could slow or even reverse land subsidence. The modeled increase in water supply can support all existing permits for groundwater use, with capacity to allow future withdrawals practically anywhere within the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area. The advanced cleaning processes to be used by HRSD to exceed drinking water standards will produce water that both protects human health and closely matches the chemistry of the water already in the aquifer. Treating water to match aquifer chemistry has been done successfully for decades throughout the world, and since the late 1980s at Southeast Virginia’s Chesapeake Aquifer Storage and Recovery facility.  Representatives from HRSD will be present to discuss HRSD’s sustainable water recycling initiative and its potential benefits for Hampton Roads. 

Posted By: Juita Yusuf
Date: Wed Apr 06 13:45:53 EDT 2016

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