The Fountain: Reclaimed Water Usage

Dori Wittrig July 6, 2023

The Iconic Fountain of Fountain Hills: A Closer Look at its Mechanism and Reclaimed Water Usage

The Fountain of Fountain Hills
Nestled in the picturesque town of Fountain Hills, Arizona, stands a remarkable landmark that captivates both locals and visitors alike – the Fountain Hills Fountain. This iconic water feature, one of the largest fountains in the world, not only mesmerizes with its stunning beauty but also showcases sustainable water usage. Let’s take a look at the inner workings of the Fountain Hills Fountain and explore what happens to the reclaimed water it utilizes.

The Fountain’s Reclaimed Water Usage

In a region known for its arid climate, water conservation is of paramount importance. That’s why the Fountain Hills Fountain ingeniously utilizes reclaimed But what exactly happens to the reclaimed water?

Reclaimed Water Collection

The town of Fountain Hills has a dedicated wastewater treatment facility where water from various sources, such as households and businesses, undergoes a rigorous treatment process. This treatment removes impurities and ensures that the water meets stringent quality standards. Ultimately, the highly treated waste, now classified as recycled water, is used as irrigation water for three local golf courses and three Town parks, including Fountain Lake.
Membrane filtration treatment equipment located at the Advanced Water Treatment Facility

Storage and Distribution

Once treated, the reclaimed water is carefully stored in 5 large reservoirs and recovery wells. These reservoirs act as a crucial buffer, providing a sufficient supply for the fountain’s operations. From there, the reclaimed water is distributed through a separate system of pipes designed specifically for non-potable water usage.

Supply and Demand

The reclaimed water demand far exceeds the supply in the summer and supply far exceeds demand in the winter. When reclaiming more treated water than the golf courses and parks are using in the winter, it’s recharged into the wells to become part of the acquifer. Fountain Hills currently stores up to 300 million gallons of highly-treated recycled water in the winter for use in the summer months. The wells have been successfully operating for 19 years, which may be the longest any aquifer storage and recovery wells have been operating in Arizona. Learn more about the Fountain Hills Sanitary District here.

Fountain Operation

The reclaimed water is then pumped from the storage reservoirs to the fountain’s primary pump station. Here, it undergoes additional filtration to remove any remaining solids or debris. This step helps protect the fountain’s intricate mechanisms from potential damage.

Spectacular Display

Once the reclaimed water is filtered and ready, it flows into the main pumping system. With precision timing, the water is forcefully propelled through the fountain’s nozzles, creating an awe-inspiring water display that can reach heights of over 560 feet (170 meters).
The Fountain Hills Fountain stands not only as a symbol of beauty and pride but also as a testament to the town’s commitment to sustainable water management. So, the next time you witness the captivating spectacle of the Fountain Hills Fountain, take a moment to appreciate the harmony between nature, technology, and water conservation that makes it possible.

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