The water that Henderson residents watch funnel down their drains will make its way over to the newly opened Southwest Water Reclamation Facility for treatment.
“Water is the most vital compound necessary to sustain life,” Mayor Andy Hafen said. “Nature doesn’t have the ability to create new water. It must constantly recycle the same water that existed on the planet millions of years ago. By reclaiming the water here in Henderson, we are simply accelerating nature’s own water purification process.”
The new facility opened Sept. 28 and has the capacity to treat up to 8 million gallons of wastewater per day. The facility is at 2619 St. Rose Parkway.
“We will begin with 4 million gallons,” said Dennis Porter, the director of utility services for the city of Henderson.
Put in perspective, that is suitable for a population of about 100,000 and meets the needs of Henderson, Porter said..
“We have the ability to reclaim every drop that you use indoors,” Hafen said. “More than one-third of the water reclaimed annually in Henderson is used for landscape irrigation at nine Henderson golf courses, on highway medians and at a cemetery.”
Porter said the city of Henderson realized in the late ’90s that it needed to expand its water-treatment services.
At the time, all Henderson wastewater was being pumped through the Kurt Segler Water Reclamation Facility, 240 Athens Ave.
The Segler facility, which was constructed in 1994, has the treatment capacity of 32 million gallons of wastewater a day, but the water was being pumped across town to the facility.
The new facility enables the city to treat wastewater in southwest Henderson and provide high-quality reuse water in closer proximity to customers.
Despite notable uses, the proposal was met with concerns from naysayers in the surrounding neighborhood who were concerned with odor and noise.
To address outcries, the first phase of the facility began in 2007 with the construction of berms that now surround the facility.
Construction on the facility officially began in March 2008.
Porter said the plant has cutting-edge technology in water treatment, including membrane bioreactors, where organic matter and solids are separated from wastewater, and an ultraviolet disinfection process, which sends water through ultraviolet lamps and renders bacteria harmless.
The project cost $94 million and is the largest project the city of Henderson has built, Hafen said.
Hafen added that the impact was beneficial not only for water but also for the Henderson economy.
“It employed hundreds of construction workers at a time when the construction community was one of the hardest hit by the economic downturn,” Hafen said. “This impact was felt by the entire community in the form of goods and services purchased by these families and the jobs created to provide those goods and services.”
Hafen said the city of Henderson first saw the benefits of a water reclamation center in 1985.
“Over the decades, we have developed one of the largest and most sophisticated water reclamation systems in the nation,” Hafen said.
Porter said the center should start operating at full capacity this month.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 387-5201.