Phoenix To Use Recycled Wastewater To Supplement Drinking Water Supply

October 13, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

The city of Phoenix will supplement its drinking water supply using recycled wastewater as early as 2030.

Last week, the city approved the expenditure of over $30.4 million to reopen the Cave Creek Water Reclamation Plant (CCWRP) that closed in 2009 amid the Great Recession. In all, construction of the plant is projected to exceed $300 million.

The Black & Veatch Corporation (BV) will oversee construction of the CCWRP. Upon its completion, the plant will treat eight million gallons of wastewater daily.

BV is a global construction company specializing in energy, water, telecommunications, and government services headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, with self-reported U.S. revenues of over $4.25 billion last year.

The EPA defines the process of deriving drinking water from treated wastewater as “potable water reuse.”

Phoenix trails behind the city of Scottsdale, which has been the only facility in the state permitted for a pilot program of recycling wastewater into drinking water since 2018. Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian Biesemeyer said that wastewater recycled into drinking water could hit Scottsdale homes as early as 2025.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is anticipated to propose rulemaking on drinkable, recycled wastewater by the end of this year.

The state of California announced earlier this summer that it planned to establish wastewater recycling systems to reclaim wastewater as drinking water, known as direct potable reuse. Currently, California puts recycled wastewater into an underground aquifer that naturally filters and purifies the water, known as indirect potable reuse.

The CCWRP officially closed due to slow population growth in the surrounding area, after beginning operations in 2002.

The city gave BV $660,000 in July 2017 to conduct a Phase I Feasibility Study to identify design limitations, alternatives for improved performance, and opportunities for reducing operational costs.

In December 2019, following completion of the study, the city gave BV an additional award ceiling of up to $25 million for additional engineering services for CCWRP. This included construction documents, construction administration, and inspection services.

By February 2020, the city gave BV over $12.3 million for the study, additional engineering services, as well as another expanded scope of services, as part of Phase II of the CCWRP.

This $30.4 million to BV falls within their Phase III plans for the CCWRP.

Last November, the city approved an additional $5 million for BW’s services.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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