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International Water Association Honors pureALTA for Esteemed Achievement in Advanced Water Technologies


The City of Altamonte Springs’ innovative water treatment project, pureALTA, was named among the best in the world after fierce competition featuring 160 entries from 45 countries.

The City was ranked in the top three at the International Water Association (IWA) Project Innovation Awards in Tokyo, Japan on Monday, September 17, 2018. pureALTA was recognized for its forward-thinking applications and solutions to advance clean and safe water goals, taking home a top award in the Market-Changing Water Technology and Infrastructure category. The City was honored as the only project from the U.S.

“We are proud to stand among such exceptional water projects,” said Frank Martz, Altamonte Springs city manager. “Water is essential for everyone on the planet, and we are focused on finding and sharing water preservation solutions. Taking steps to do so was a major goal for the City of Altamonte Springs, and we’re deeply humbled to receive this international recognition.”

The IWA Project Innovation Awards were presented at the 12th annual World Water Congress, which focuses on overcoming challenges through the development and implementation of creative water solutions. This global event helps shape the conversation on future water needs. Over 5,000 water leaders representing over 100 countries joined together to share the latest trends, innovative technologies and pioneering sciences to build partnerships that will deliver solutions for major water and wastewater challenges faced around the world.

The award-winning pureALTA project takes reclaimed water and treats it to meet or exceed all drinking water quality standards without using expensive, energy-consuming reverse osmosis. The City’s unique process features four advanced treatments: ozonation and biological activated carbon filtration (O3/BAF), ultrafiltration (UF), granular activated carbon filtration (GAC) and ultraviolet light with advanced oxidation process (UV AOP). Currently, the purified water is returned to the reclaimed water system, where it is used for irrigation. 

Thus far, the system has produced reliable results. The City treats approximately 28,000 gallons of water daily but could build a full-scale system with the potential to treat up to 500,000 gallons of water per day—about 5 percent of the City’s future daily water demand without drawing from the aquifer. 

The St. Johns River Water Management District provided grant funding to jumpstart the pilot and Carollo Engineers have been a key component of its success.  

“The City of Altamonte Springs is a pioneer in water reuse and we are proud to be the City’s funding partner as its leaders explore this innovative approach to sustainable water supply,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “I’m confident the City’s work will help guide future generations who share our commitment to ensuring sustainable use of Florida’s water.”

“In the most challenging aspect of our water business, direct potable reuse, Altamonte Springs has exhibited critical industry leadership,” said Carollo Engineers Water Reuse Practice Director Andrew Salveson. “Projects across the United States now point to Altamonte Springs as a guide for their future new water supplies.”  

This is not the first time the City of Altamonte Springs has been honored for its pureALTA project. The City won the national 2017 WateReuse Innovative Project of the Year award as the first utility from the state of Florida to ever receive such an honor.

Altamonte Springs also has a long standing history of developing innovative projects to diversify its water portfolio. The City’s reclaimed water system, Project APRICOT, was implemented in the 1980s and focused on retrofitting existing neighborhoods and developments making it possible to deliver reclaimed water to almost every property in the city. In 2014, the City also developed the A-FIRST project which utilizes stormwater runoff as a valuable resource and treats it to reclaimed water standards so it can be used for irrigation citywide.

Innovation is embedded in the City’s DNA where City leaders continually deliver first-of-its kind projects like the Uber initiative, Altamonte Springs Science Incubator and Altamonte Electric Utility. The City is always aiming for new and clever ways to work beyond the constraints of local government.

“We are constantly striving to think outside the box and deliver smart, fiscally responsible solutions to the challenges of tomorrow,” Martz said. “We want to deliver services for our residents that aren’t just excellent for a small city—they’re world-class.”