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The City of Boca Raton’s Utility Services Department has received national recognition as a Utility of the Future Today for its commitment to provide environmentally-sound treatment, distribution and storage of high-quality potable water and reclaim water as well as utilizing sustainable operation and best management practices. The City is one of 65 water utilities being recognized for transformational work in community engagement, watershed stewardship and recovery of resources such as water, energy and nutrients.
“We are proud to accept this prestigious award from the Water Environmental Federation and being recognized as a Utility of the Future,” stated Chris Helfrich, Director of Utility Services. “The City Mayor and Council have always been forward thinking when addressing the basic needs of water and wastewater in the community. Our reclaimed water system is just one example of the City planning for the future, implementing today and being sustainable forever.”
The City’s Utility Services Department was one of the first in southeast Florida to develop a Reclaimed Water System and the first in the area to receive designation from the Florida Department Environmental Protection (FDEP) as a 100% reuse facility. The facility produces 11 to 12 million gallons of reclaimed water per day which preserves over 4.1 billion gallons of fresh water every year. The award-winning secondary treatment facility uses a multi-stage treatment process with additional filtration and disinfection to provide irrigation quality water to roadway medians, parks, 9 prestigious golf courses and over 1,600 homes within the City.
The Utility of the Future Today concept is being promoted as water systems face challenges such as aging infrastructure, water pollution, workforce shortages and impacts of climate change, including drought, floods, storms and sea level rise. The Utility of the Future Today program was launched in 2016 by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WaterReuse Association, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The recognition celebrates the achievements of water utilities that transform from the traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.
“The innovations coming to the water sector present an opportunity for a paradigm shift in the way utilities think about and solve long-standing challenges to clean and reliable water,” said Jackie Jarrell, WEF President. “WEF is excited to recognize City of Boca Raton Utility Services for embracing innovative ways to better serve their communities.”
Boca Raton’s Utility Services Department will be recognized during a pre-recorded awards ceremony on Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. ET during WEFTEC Connect. To learn more about the award, visit http://www.wef.org/UtilityoftheFuture. To learn more about the City’s reclaimed water system, visit the City’s website or listen to the City’s podcast featuring Utility Services Director, Chris Helfrich and John Creane, General Manager of the award-winning Broken Sound Country Club as they chat about the In-City Reclamation Irrigation System, how it works and how some of the most popular golf courses in the area are benefitting from it.