ECUA to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Planned Expansion of Pensacola Beach Reclaimed Water System

On Tuesday, November 3, the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) will hold an informational town hall meeting for citizens interested in learning more about the Authority’s planned expansion of the Pensacola Beach reclaimed water system. The event will be held at the Santa Rosa Island Authority board room, 1 Via De Luna Drive, at 6:30 p.m., CDT.

This phased project will allow the ECUA to expand its reclaimed water system on Pensacola Beach to provide reclaimed water for irrigation.  The majority of the water currently used for irrigation on Pensacola Beach is provided through the ECUA’s potable water system, which provides drinking water and water for other domestic uses to the residential and commercial customers on Santa Rosa Island.  The current reclaimed water system is limited to providing irrigation water to only the Santa Rosa Island Authority for a limited portion of the Via De Luna Right-of-Way.  In order to expand the system and provide reclaimed water to other customers for irrigation, the ECUA needs to construct a storage tank and pumping station along with the phased expansion of the distribution system.

The benefits of expanding the reclaimed water system are as follows:

Reduced discharge to Santa Rosa Sound – Environmental benefit of reduced nutrient loading will benefit sea grass beds in the Sound.

Water Conservation – The use of reclaimed water for irrigation will conserve precious drinking water, dedicating this more expensive resource for potable uses for  residential and commercial customers

Economic incentives achieved through reuse – The ECUA will consider a rate structure that provides the reclaimed water at a significant saving when compared to the commodity charge for potable water.  Construction of the proposed tank and pumping station will allow the ECUA to take advantage of a $425,000 grant from the Northwest Florida Water Management District, specifically awarded for this purpose, and enhancing the utility’s water conservation measures.