JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- A ground breaking ceremony was held at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 6 to begin construction on a new wastewater reuse pump station and pipeline that will significantly reduce the station's wastewater discharge to the St. Johns River.
The $1.87M project will remove 18,000 pounds of nutrients per year from the river and eliminate the need to withdraw approximately 37 million gallons per year of potable water from the Florida aquifer.
The water will be used to irrigate the NAS Jacksonville golf course and an existing irrigation pond on the golf course.
"NAS Jax (Jacksonville) has a long history of reusing treated wastewater instead of discharging to the St. Johns River. In 1997, NAS Jax and Timuquana Country Club constructed a 200,000 gallons-per-day wastewater reuse system from the station to the club to irrigate its golf course and eliminate groundwater withdrawal from the Florida aquifer," said NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay.
"In 2007, the Florida Defense Alliance awarded a grant to the city of Jacksonville to design an expansion of the station wastewater reuse system. In March 2010, the city completed the design and obtained the permits to construct an additional 300,000 gallons-per-day wastewater reuse system to the station golf course and ball fields," said Maclay.
The project was designed by John R. Barnard and Associates and will be constructed by Cape Design Engineering Company of Cape Canaveral.
"This is a great day. NAS Jax is kicking off a project which hopefully [will] mean no discharge of wastewater to the river and will save groundwater resources. It's one of those proverbial win-win situations," said Neil Armingeon, the river keep for St. Johns River. "One of the biggest problems facing the river is nutrients. This is an example of how everyone, including large entities like NAS Jax, can do things to improve the health of the river."
St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Kirby Green also addressed the audience at the ceremony.
"As you all know our river has problems that have to be addressed if we are going to sell that attribute of our city as the gem that it is," said Green. "This project will help protect our river and reduce the use of potable water. It is good to be partners with people when you can say there is more than one benefit to be derived from a project. The river receives more than 32 million pounds of nitrogen phosphorus each year in this area. We have to do everything we can to reduce flood of nutrients into the system so we can reduce algae blooms, fish kills and make the river healthier."
This phase of the project will be completed in September 2011. When the whole project is completed in 2014, NAS Jacksonville's goal is to have zero discharge to the St. Johns River.
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.