Destin Water Users Reclaimed Water Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project

WSP USA provided a groundbreaking groundwater solution to help the coastal community of Destin, Florida manage water supply and wastewater management challenges.



  • Destin, Florida, USA


  • Destin Water Users, Inc.

Project Status

  • Complete

Like other cities in coastal Florida, Destin experiences water supply problems due to population growth, limited availability of undeveloped land resources, and a continuous risk of freshwater contamination from saline water intrusion. Additionally, local utility Destin Water Users (DWU) obtains its freshwater supply from the Upper Floridian Aquifer, which is regionally utilized at its sustainable limits and is not directly suitable for potable water use.

To provide DWU with additional wet weather wastewater disposal capacity, WSP explored the development of a reclaimed water aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) system. The ASR system allows DWU to store excess reclaimed water during wet weather periods, and recover it during high demand periods. This highly cost-effective solution addresses the need for additional peak disposal capacity, and increases the reliability of the reuse system.

The DWU ASR system is pioneering in several respects. It is the first of only three operational ASR systems in Florida to successfully use a shallow sand aquifer as a storage zone, and the first using an underground source of drinking water as a storage zone to obtain a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) operation permit. The system also pioneered the use of institutional controls to address public health concerns and avoid the possibility of indirect potable reuse.

WSP worked with DWU to develop, design, permit, construct and operationally test the reclaimed water ASR system. The team also coordinated with DWU to obtain a variance from the FDEP full treatment and disinfection requirements, which had not previously been issued for this type of project. The ASR system has seven ASR wells and associated monitoring wells for a design capacity of 2.125 million gallons a day.