This article is part of our feature on the future of wastewater in the U.S.’s fastest growing metro areas. We’re using the Transcend Design Generator to automatically build, expand, or upgrade regional wastewater treatment systems in each of these regions.
Phoenix, situated in Maricopa County, is an intriguing case when it comes to wastewater treatment planning.
Between 2010 and 2020, Maricopa County experienced a significant population increase of over 600,000 people, growing from 3,825,110 to 4,438,342. This impressive growth makes it the second-largest growing county in the United States, emphasizing the need for efficient and reliable wastewater treatment infrastructure.
Taking into account a similar population increase projected for the next decade, it would result in a need for an additional 43 MGD of wastewater treatment capacity, assuming the average per capita usage of 70 gallons per day. To accommodate this anticipated growth, the existing wastewater treatment facilities will need to be expanded, or new plants will have to be constructed. In either case, the wastewater treatment planning process must take into consideration the area’s unique characteristics, environmental concerns, and the long-term sustainability of the solutions implemented.
The Phoenix metro area is home to numerous smaller wastewater treatment plants, but the exact number and details of the populations they serve are not readily available from the resources we’ve consulted. Interestingly, the two largest plants in the area have rather unique names – named after their locations on the roads: the 91st Ave WWTP and the 23rd Avenue WWTP. This naming convention is quite unusual for a city of Phoenix’s size.
Given the projected population growth and the anticipated need for an additional 43 MGD of wastewater treatment capacity, it makes sense to construct a larger plant to address this demand. The city of Mesa, situated to the north of Phoenix, appears to be particularly lacking in wastewater treatment facilities. As such, the ideal location for this new plant would be somewhere between Phoenix and Mesa (North) in the metro area.
Considering the hot climate in Arizona, the new wastewater treatment plant could incorporate UASB (Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket) technology. This technology is better suited for high-temperature regions and can help the plant effectively manage the increased wastewater treatment needs of the growing population.
We’ve included the detailed equipment list in the document below – and if you’d like free access to the full design package, comment “Maricopa” below and we’ll send you all of the documents, including an equipment list, load list, piping & instrumentation diagram of the treatment plant, and more!
If you enjoyed this piece you may also want to read about the future of wastewater in San Antonio.