In desert climates, talking about sustainability almost always requires talking about water – and using it responsibly. At the start of the 21st century, the City of Peoria, Arizona, needed water for the 400,000 additional people who had recently joined the community. City officials realized their solution had to be a “banking deal” with the environment.


Peoria sits on large aquifers but, like with bank accounts, you can’t withdraw endlessly without making deposits. Since large populations create large amounts of “dirty” water, city officials decided to invest in building the Butler Water Reclamation Facility as a water treatment plant to purify water to a high standard and recharge the aquifer (pump water back in). This yields a “credit” to withdraw equivalent amounts of fresh water.


As the builder, Sundt faced the challenge of expanding the plant’s capacity while controlling odor. We integrated several design innovations. These included fine screens, nitrogen control, and UV disinfection. Solids are dewatered with three 275-gallon-per-minute centrifuges, and a screw conveyor system conveys the dewatered solids to trucks that haul the waste to a landfill. Because the influent pump station was in a prime commercial area undergoing concurrent commercial development, a prime consideration for the team was preventing odors from impacting future development. The solution to this problem was to construct the facility with a focus on architectural continuity and the inclusion of a low-profile odor control system with much of the plant built below ground.


City of Peoria


Butler Water Reclamation Facility