Loxahatchee River District Awarded Top Honors

The Loxahatchee River District was recently awarded the 2011 “David York” Reuse System of the Year by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Timing of this prestigious honor coincides with kick-off of the State of Florida’s observance of “Water Reuse Week”, May 15 – 21, 2011.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious designation, which is especially significant as our community faces historic drought conditions,” said Loxahatchee River District Executive Director Dr. Albrey Arrington. “We also are thrilled to be a significant part of the state water reuse week, as it is crucial to recognize the importance of water recycling efforts to meet present and future demands on our finite freshwater supplies.”

The David York award was presented to the Governing Board of the Loxahatchee River District at their May 19 meeting.

Representative Pat Rooney attended the meeting to congratulate the LRD on being designated the best in the State.

“I applaud the Loxahatchee River District for receiving the Florida Water Environment Association’s 2011 David W. York Water Reuse Awards for their reuse program,” said Representative Rooney. “The David W. York Water Reuse Awards was established to recognize outstanding water reuse projects including environmental quality management, water reuse system, and public education/information. The Loxahatchee River District has been a leader in water conservation with its highly respected wastewater recycling program which serves residential communities, public parks and recreational facilities with nearly seven million gallons a day. Water conservation is of increasing importance, especially in growing communities like Jupiter and this award is indicative of the Loxahatchee River District’s leadership in resource protection for the citizen’s of our region.”

In 1992, the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) established the David W. York Water Reuse Awards to recognize outstanding water reuse projects in Florida. Projects are evaluated by members of FWEA’s Water Reuse Committee based on environmental quality management, water reuse system, and public education and information outreach.

A national reuse leader, Florida recycles 250 billion gallons of reclaimed water each year statewide. Water reuse, or water recycling, is the beneficial use of wastewater, which has been highly treated and disinfected, for landscape and golf course irrigation. Among the many benefits of water reuse is that it reduces unnecessary demand for potable water, which is expensive to produce, and allows untapped sources of fresh water to be conserved for future needs and/or the natural environment.

Each day, the Loxahatchee River District delivers nearly seven million gallons of recycled water (i.e., IQ water) to its customers, including local golf courses, residential communities, such as Abacoa, public parks, and even Roger Dean Stadium. In fact, during dry conditions the LRD treats and recycles more than 95% of the wastewater it receives from the community. Recycled Water allows our customers to meet their landscape irrigation needs, even in times of drought, while preserving untapped water for the natural environment.

Preserving our freshwater supplies is one of the biggest steps toward maintaining healthy and functional natural resources. The Loxahatchee River District’s water recycling efforts play a significant role in preserving freshwater resources for the nationally designated wild and scenic Loxahatchee River. Recycled Water provides an alternative source of water for landscape irrigation, which reduces the amount of water taken from natural resources. This untapped water provides essential habitat for aquatic species, birds, plants and wildlife, as well as unique recreational opportunities for our community to enjoy.

Along with the York award, this is a special year for the Loxahatchee River District as it celebrates its 40 anniversary. For four decades, the LRD has worked to maintain this nationally designated wild and scenic river with innovative water recycling programs, an award-winning wastewater treatment facility, ongoing river research, and restoration/preservation programs. The LRD also provides unique environmental education opportunities with meaning public involvement through the WildPine Ecological Lab, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and The River Center. TheLRD is proud to serve as the leading authority and guardian of the Loxahatchee River, and is grateful to be recognized as the best reuse system in the State of Florida.

For more information about the Loxahatchee River District and its programs, please visit www.loxahatcheeriver.org.