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FPUA Completes First Year of Construction on New Sewer Plant

State-Of-The-Art facility will serve the Fort Pierce community for Generations

Fort Pierce, FL – January 18, 2024 – Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) commemorates the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking for its new sewer treatment plant, a significant milestone in the journey towards enhanced sustainability and service for the Fort Pierce community.

This state-of-the-art facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology designed to serve residents for generations, ensuring efficient and sustainable wastewater treatment. The new plant will utilize the AquaNereda® wastewater treatment process, known for its cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency. Compared to conventional technologies, it is 15% less expensive to construct and operates with 30% less energy consumption, resulting in significant cost reductions.

“FPUA is grateful to have secured nearly $20 million in grants from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Resilient Florida program and appropriations sponsored by our local and state representatives for the new wastewater facility,” said Javier Cisneros, FPUA Director of Utilities. “We are proud to be working toward providing increased capacity and better service to our community. Our focus remains on fostering sustainability across the Fort Pierce area.”

The site preparation work completed so far includes: land clearing and fill, excavation of stormwater and process ponds, dewatering and final site grading of the future plant equipment structures, including the AquaNereda primary treatment tanks. The existing deep injection wells, which will be used for treated effluent disposal, were flow tested in December to confirm designed plant capacity.

“The latest project schedule indicates substantial completion of the sewer treatment plant by October 2025,” said Bo Hutchinson, FPUA Director of Water and Wastewater. “We have already made substantial progress and are continuously working as a team to maintain the project schedule.”

Key highlights of the new sewer treatment plant include:

  1. Optimal Location: The new sewer treatment plant is located on Energy Lane, adjacent to a natural gas power plant, far away from residential neighborhoods and the Indian River Lagoon.
  2. Water Reuse Initiatives: Relocating the plant to the Treasure Coast Energy Center allows for the reuse of water, offsetting an average of 2 million gallons per day (MGD)in withdrawals from the Upper Floridan Aquifer. The reclaimed water will be utilized for cooling purposes at the energy plant, promoting water conservation.
  3. Expanded Capacity: The enhanced capacity of the new plant positions FPUA to better support the growing needs of Fort Pierce, contributing to the city’s development. The old plant is rated at 10 MGD average daily flow with a peak of 14.9 MGD. The new plant is rated at 8 MGD average daily flow with a peak of 24 MGD. This can be increased to 30 MGD to accommodate future growth of the Fort Pierce service area.
  4. Mitigation of Environmental Risks: Moving the facility from its current location on South Hutchinson Island eliminates the potential damage to the Indian River Lagoon in the event of storm surge flooding.
  5. Reuse Water Infrastructure: The facility incorporates infrastructure to channel reuse water to nearby customers, offering innovative and cost-effective solutions for irrigation.

 

“The AquaNereda® process was introduced in the Netherlands and caught traction in Europe before making waves across the global water treatment industry,” Mike Martin, Water Reclamation Operations Supervisor said. “Over the past 10 years, a handful of utilities here in the United States selected AquaNereda® as the secondary treatment design for their new plant projects,” he added.

At the planned commissioning in October 2025, FPUA’s water reclamation facility will be the largest AquaNereda® plant in North America. The economic, environmental and conservation aspects of this project has generated interest from other municipalities across the region who are considering treatment options for their own plant projects.

For more information about the new wastewater treatment plant and FPUA’s other sustainability efforts, please visit www.sustainablesewer.org.

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About FPUA: Fort Pierce Utilities Authority is a municipal, not-for-profit utility provider. FPUA’s mission is to provide our customers with economical, reliable, and friendly service in a continuous effort to enhance the quality of life in our community. Fort Pierce is one of more than 2,000 communities in the United States served by a community-owned electric utility, and one of very few who also provide water, wastewater, natural gas, and Internet services. Public utility systems are owned by the people they serve. All benefits from our locally controlled utility remain right here in the community. Additional information is available at www.fpua.com.

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