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The Watereuse Association has awarded the Butler Drive Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) in Peoria, Arizona, its top-project award in the large-project category.

The association’s annual awards recognise projects and individuals that advance the beneficial and efficient use of water resources through education, sound science and technology using reclamation, recycling, reuse or desalination, for the benefit of the public and the environment.

Earlier this year, the Black and Veatch-designed facility was named as national Project of the Year in the Environment (More Than USD75m) category by the American Public Works Association (APWA).

Peoria is located in an arid desert environment, where ensuring long-term water resources is critical.

The Butler Drive WRF, which currently produces approximately 8m gallons of water each day (mgd), began operating in July 2008.

It features the largest membrane bioreactor (MBR) in North America.

Use of MBR technology to produce high-quality effluent for aquifer recharge allows the city to earn water credits and therefore extract the equivalent amount of water from the aquifer to augment its supply and meet future needs.

With the future addition of several membrane cassettes, the facility will ultimately produce up to 13mgd of water for aquifer recharge.

Black and Veatch provided design and construction-phase services for the USD135m facility.

The full treatment process includes fine screens, activated sludge with biological nitrogen removal, UV disinfection and membrane filtration.

Low-profile structures and effective odour control make the WRF a good neighbour.

The Butler Drive WRF has earned additional awards at the state and regional levels, including 2009 Water Reuse Project of the year by AZ Water (formerly the Arizona Water and Pollution Control Association) and the 2008 Service to Communities – Municipal Award in the Best of the West Awards by the Western Maricopa Coalition.

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