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Chemical Variation in Florida Reclaimed Water: An examination of temporal, geographical, and treatment technology trends
Reclaimed water, also called recycled wastewater, has proven extremely effective at conserving potable water resources when put to beneficial use. In Florida, these favorable uses include irrigation for agricultural, domestic, and recreational purposes. However, the chemical composition of reclaimed water is not identical throughout the state, and this has significant implications for identifying the resource’s ideal use. The aim of this project is to identify trends in the chemical composition of Florida’s reclaimed water associated with differences in location, season, and technological factors by conducting statistical analyses of sampled water chemistry based on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s discharge monitoring reports. These reports detail measurements of nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorine, suspended solids, and pH, among other factors, of recycled wastewater samples produced at every wastewater treatment facility throughout Florida. This dataset will be novel and will assist a wide community of researchers and governmental resource managers in advancing their work. Ultimately, a better understanding of the chemical variations associated with Florida’s reclaimed water can enable resource managers to allocate this water for the most appropriate use, while conserving our state’s freshwater resources as efficiently as possible.