ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — State, county and city leaders are celebrating the launch of a pilot project in Altamonte Springs that will help prevent a water shortage.
pureALTA was recently recognized among the best in the world at the International Water Association Project Innovation Awards in Tokyo.
“Because we have won an international innovation award, there are countries all over the planet now reaching out to us and asking us, ‘Exactly how did you do this?’ and ‘We want to do it too,’” said Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz.
Altamonte Springs isn't waiting for a disaster to strike or the water to run out of the aquifer to find new solutions or alternatives.
The city took an old building at the city's public works facility and transformed it into the pureALTA facility where the process takes place.
The city is using reclaimed water for its pureALTA project. The reclaimed water has been purified and is cleaner than tap water. There is no smell and it tastes good.
"It's being blasted by UV radiation, which is what purifies it," Martz said.
The water is tested and then put back into the reclaim water system and used for irrigation until it’s needed for a shortage.
It costs about $6 per 1,000 gallons to convert the water, which is half the price of reverse osmosis, according to city officials. The next step is to get the legislature on board.
"Obviously, funding is a big issue. The startup cost is very important,” said Martz.
The city also uses the pureALTA facility as a teaching tool for local STEM programs at local schools.