2009 Water Reuse Survey Results

In 2009, the Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) distributed the fourth annual survey of Tennessee wastewater treatment utilities (only those that are legally allowed to handle 0.1 million of gallons or more of water per day [mgd]) to find out which ones were using water conservation and water reuse practices. A survey like this is important to Tennessee as it faces strong pressures on its water resources from human use, and the 2009 results are below.

You may also view the results from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Web site at http://tn.gov/environment/wpc/stormh2o/MS4.shtml.  The wastewater reuse survey is found in the "Helpful Links" box in the bottom right corner.

System Highlight

Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Re-purified Water System
Rutherford County
Joseph Kirchner, Director
P.O. Box 1477
300 NW Broad Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37133

Joe Kirchner, director of the City of Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department, has no small task on his hands.  With millions of gallons of wastewater to dispose of per day, he has to find creative and cost-effective ways of reusing reclaimed water since State guidelines prohibit him from redistributing it back into the nearby river systems.  Kirchner must abide by certain limits regarding the effluent flows from the facility; these include restrictions on nitrogen, phosphorus, suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, etc.

But Kirchner's disposal problems have been solved through reapplying treated wastewater in irrigation systems throughout the city.  Medical Center Parkway; The Avenue, a retail mall; the Siegel Soccer Complex and ball fields of Siegel High School and Middle School; Old Fort Golf Course; Stones River Mall; five acres of residential land; Jordan and Coleman Farms (a total of 600 acres); and 124 acres of other publicly accessed lands have all incorporated the re-purified wastewater in some form or another.

According to Kirchner, re-purified water can be supplied to customers for irrigation purposes at only $0.05 per 100 cubic feet (750 gallons), opposed to the City's rate of $2.74 per 100 cubic feet (750 gallons).  Some commercial locations can also use the reclaimed wastewater in environmentally friendly applications like toilet flushing.

But these benefits to customers come at a cost to the water and sewer department:  a total of $266,000 per year.  Kirchner says that this cost is necessary, though, because his options for water disposal are limited.  To help with seasonal limitations, he's also looking at underground drip irrigation lines that would alleviate the problem of freezing because the lines would be below the permafrost. 

Other water facilities are not using these land-application water reuse techniques because they're in regions where limitations on effluent discharge to streams are not as strict.  However, Kirchner believes that the techniques his office is using have environmental merit and can provide direct financial benefit to the customer.

Locations Where Murfreesboro is Using Re-purified Water for Irrigation

SoccerComplexSign

Richard Siegel Park Championship Soccer Complex

AvenueSign


AvenueFountain

AvenueGreen

AvenuePagoda

The Avenue Shopping Mall

BallField

Siegel High School and Middle School Ball Fields

Farm

Farm2

Two farms, Jordan and Coleman, Purchased for
Repurposed Water Application

GolfCourse

Old Fort Golf Course

StonesRiverMall

Stones River Mall

 

2009 Results

Ninety-four household wastewater treatment facilities returned the survey. Of these, two treated wastewater (or reclaimed water) to be reused in 2009. The total amount of wastewater these treatment facilities can handle is 18.00 mgd, and those facilities treated 17.98 mgd of domestic wastewater in 2009. Approximately 3.68 mgd of treated wastewater from these facilities were reused for beneficial purposes (like those listed in the table below).

This table shows the number of facilities that reuse water in each TDEC Environmental Field Office District. It also shows how the treated wastewater was used within each district (how many golf courses, schools and parks were irrigated with it, etc.).  Note:  None of the facilities used the treated wastewater for edible crop irrigation, groundwater recharge, or indirect applications.

TDEC Environ. Field Office

No. of Reuse Systems

Area of Residences Irrigated

Area of Golf Courses Irrigated

No. of Parks Irrigated

No. of Schools Irrigated

Area of Other Public Access Irrigated

Area of Grass, Pasture, Other Crops Irrigated

Chattanooga

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Columbia

2

0

154 acres

0

0

68 acres

0

Cookeville

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Jackson

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Johnson City

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Knoxville

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Memphis

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nashville

1

100 acres

221 acres

3

1

64 acres

600 acres

2009 Total

3

100 acres

375 acres

3

1

132 acres

600 acres

Note:  Sewanee Utility District has historically reused wastewater.  That utility district was included in this year's number of reuse systems for the Columbia field office.

The following table summarizes the way reuse water was used among the three systems that practiced the technique. It also includes the number of reuse systems, flow and area for each reuse type.  The facilities did not report their capacities in this section. 
Reuse Type Number of Systems Flow (mgd) Area Acres
Public Access Areas & Landscape Irrigation      
Golf Course Irrigation

2

1.30

375

Residential Irrigation

1

0.35

100

Other Public Access Areas

1

1.53

64

Subtotal

4

3.18

539

Agricultural Irrigation      
Edible Crops

0

0

0

Other Crops

1

0.50

600

Subtotal

1

0.50

600

Groundwater Recharge &
Indirect Potable
(See definition below)
     
Rapid Infiltration Basins

0

   
Adsorption Fields (See definition below)

0

   
Surface Water Augmentation

0

   
Injection

0

   
Subtotal

0

   
Industrial      
At Treatment Plant

0

   
At Other Facilities

0

   
Subtotal

0

   
Toilet Flushing

0

   
Fire Protection

0

   
Wetlands

0

   
Other Uses

0

   
Totals

5

3.68

1139

 

Adsorption Fields
a drainfield, including the application/distribution system, intended for the reuse of reclaimed water.
Indirect Potable Reuse
for these purposes, the planned discharge of reclaimed water to surface waters to augment the supply
of water available for drinking and other uses.

Contact information for the systems that practice water reuse is below.

Reuse System Name County Contact Person/Title Address
King's Creek Golf Course Maury Travis Massey, Superintendent City Hall, 199 Town Center, Parkway, Box 789
Spring Hill, TN 37174
Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department Rutherford Joseph Kirchner, Director 300 NW Broad St.,
P.O. Box 1477
Murfreesboro, TN 37133
Sewanee Utility District Franklin Ben Beavers P.O. Box 3211
Sewanee, TN 37375
FGCC (Fairfield Glade) Slow Rate Land Application Facility Cumberland Jane Walker 7827 Peavine Road
Fairfield Glade, TN 38558

Note:  Fairfield Glade uses wastewater in field applications.

For a listing of the entire 2009 results or to report omissions or inaccuracies, please contact the Center's main office at 931/372-3507.

The questions and format of the inventory survey were patterned after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Annual Reuse Report. The Center and TDEC express gratitude to Dr. David York (Water Reuse Coordinator, Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 49, Tallahassee, Florida 32399) for granting permission to utilize material contained in the FDEP Annual Reuse Report. Appreciation is also extended to the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD) for providing their support of the Reuse Inventory.