RCAP Database | Pompano Beach Case Study of WS-4

Initiative: OASIS ICanWater Program

Municipality: 
County: 
Contact Name: 
Randolph Brown
Contact Email: 
randolph.brown@copbfl.com
Coastal/Inland: 
Coastal

You are going to save money, so if you are greedy you’ll be happy, if you are altruistic you help your community, so you’ll be happy. If you want to have drinking water in the future and you worry about salt water intrusion, you are helping fight that problem so it’s win, win, win. Just get it done.

- Commissioner Barry Dockswell

Quick Facts and Statistics

The City of Pompano Beach has been using reuse water for irrigation for 26 years, and over 10 billion gallons of water from the Biscayne Aquifer has been conserved.

Last year the city used approximately 779 million gallons of reuse, saving gallon for gallon of drinking water while keeping city golf courses, medians and parks green for residents to enjoy. More importantly, almost 800 million gallons of water fated for the Atlantic Ocean was reused.

This model can serve as a role model, as the City of Pompano Beach actually has no wastewater plant. With no city owned wastewater facility, the Pompano Beach Reuse Plant takes in a portion of the treated wastewater effluent from Broward County Regional Wastewater Facility destined for ocean outfall disposal. This effluent is diverted from the Atlantic Ocean outfall (assisting with recent legislative mandates to eliminate ocean outfall) and is further treated to improve its quality via filtration and disinfection.

Description

After listening to customers, the “I Can Water” campaign was created in 2011 to eliminate connection barriers and to educate residential customers about reuse. This program connects single family residential customers with no out of pocket costs or hassles. The city enlisted local licensed plumbers to perform the private side customer connections. The city owns and maintains the backflow preventers. The city even developed a hose bibb box for customers without in-ground irrigation. Connections increased from 73 to 658 homes in four years. The water footprint is reduced, energy usage and carbon footprint are decreased and customers can reduce fertilizer use as well.

Implementation Process

The City of Pompano Beach has been using reuse water since 1989. With the implementation of the single family residential reuse program, new programs had to be developed to provide customer education. OASIS (Our Alternative Supply Irrigation System) was born. A contest was held for residents to create a logo and slogan for the city’s reuse program. The winning slogan was “Making It Clean And Turning It Green.” This first introduced the public to the many benefits of reuse. The city’s other reuse informational efforts included: distribution of public education materials such as the Reuse Consumer Confidence Report; playing a reuse informational video; providing public information via the city reuse web page located on the city web site www.pompanobeachfl.gov; providing signage in irrigated areas and conducting Reuse Facility tours in order to promote the benefits and importance of reuse. 

At first the ISC case study project reception was less than anticipated. Some of the hurdles from the resident’s perspective included: poor public perception of reuse; the process of the initial connection and dealing with a contractor; and upfront costs; annual backflow inspections and fees which were the responsibility of the customer to schedule and pay for. Pompano Beach listened to their customers and instituted an innovative marketing program combined with competitive pricing and increased customer service to target potential customers in their reuse service area. Through Pompano Beach’s reuse program OASIS, the “I Can Water” campaign was launched to educate and attract more single family residents to participate in this conservation practice.

Implementation Timeline

The ICanWater Program was launched in the summer of 2011. It took about a year to design and implement. The initiative will continue until all single family residents that have reuse availability, are connected.

Implementation Funding

The program is funded through the reuse customer’s usage rates, grants and subsidies from the drinking water rates.

Community Benefits

Besides saving potable water, assisting with ocean outfall requirements, mitigating saltwater intrusion, educating the public about reuse water and conservation efforts, the “I Can Water” Campaign has generated work for local plumbers in support of the mayor’s Stimulus Plan. Furthermore, reuse water usage instead of potable water usage, reduces the water footprint and decreases the carbon footprint. Lastly, since reuse water contains nutrients, customers can reduce fertilizer use, which assists with the county and city fertilizer reduction efforts, as well as benefits the environment. Every gallon of reuse water used for irrigation results in a gallon of drinking water saved for future development. This defers expensive drinking water plant upgrades.