Chandlerís Water Accomplishments
Chandler supplies an average of 54 million gallons of high quality drinking water per day to our residential, business and industrial customers while meeting or exceeding all health and safety standards set by local, state and federal regulators. Our water is purified and regularly tested and our self-imposed standard for clarity is five times better than the minimum standard required by law.
Chandler's water and wastewater rates are among the lowest of all major Valley cities. Our water and wastewater operations are accredited by the American Public Works Association, the toughest accreditation to achieve in the public works industry. Our water operations, facilities and programs have received various awards from organizations such as Valley Forward, the Maricopa Association of Governments, AZ Water Association, Arizona Consulting Engineers Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Arizona Water & Pollution Control Association, American Public Works Association, American City & County Magazine and others.
Chandler actively promotes water conservation using a combination of financial incentives, free services, education, ordinances, and reclaimed water use. Rebates provide financial incentives to encourage voluntary water conservation. Free water audits and leak detection services improve water use efficiencies. Educational activities, such as free water conservation classes, informative brochures, public presentations, school education and special events increase public awareness to conserve water. Chandler ordinances require all new construction to install water efficient plumbing fixtures, limit water intensive landscaping at newly constructed model homes, businesses, industrial facilities and common areas, and require all new landscaped areas greater than five acres to use reclaimed water when available.
Working with the City's Parks Division, water conservation staff developed a Xeriscape Demonstration Garden that provides residents with low water use landscape design ideas. An assortment of shrubs, trees and plants that thrive in Chandler's desert climate are displayed in the garden, and identified by plaques with additional plant information. Similarly, a Hummingbird Habitat developed within Chandler's Desert Breeze Park demonstrates to visitors the beauty of native and desert adapted plants in a shady and inviting garden. The garden features more than 50 species of plants that not only survive on very little water but also are attractive to hummingbirds and other wildlife.
Chandler has developed a reclaimed water system that is making good use of this resource rather than letting it go down the drain. Wastewater from kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and sinks is collected and transported through a system of underground pipes to the City's three water reclamation facilities where it undergoes extensive treatment to meet the state's highest reuse and aquifer water quality standards. Over eight billion gallons a year of reclaimed water is used by over 200 customers to irrigate non-edible crops, parks, golf courses, common areas, and in lakes. Another 500 million gallons is delivered annually to the Chandler Heights Recharge Facility for recharge and to provide wildlife habitat as part of the multi-use Veterans Oasis Park.
Chandler works with commercial and industrial facilities to create opportunities to recycle industrial process wastewater and advance efficiency and sustainability. Through an innovative partnership with Intel, the City constructed and operates a facility that uses state of the art technology to treat process water from Intel's semiconductor manufacturing plants to bring it up to drinking water standards. The water is then recharged back into the ground, providing a renewable water supply for the City. Since the beginning of operations, the Chandler Reverse Osmosis Facility has pumped over five billion gallons of recycled water back into the ground, enough water to supply 45,000 households for a year. Intel also uses recycled water in its cooling towers and reclaimed wastewater from a nearby Chandler reclamation facility to irrigate landscaping. This partnership has allowed industrial growth to occur in Chandler, creating thousands of high‐paying jobs, increasing tax revenues, and boosting the area's economy while maintaining a healthy water supply.
Chandler participates in regional water planning as an active member of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and regularly meets with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project, Salt River Project and individual cities to discuss water supply, water sustainability and water management issues. An example of regional cooperation and planning is the Santan Vista Water Treatment Plant constructed jointly with the Town of Gilbert. The result of this partnership is an additional source of water for our customers. The state-of-the-art facility began supplying drinking water to the two communities in 2010, and by working together, Chandler and Gilbert each saved $22 million in construction and infrastructure costs and annually save up to $1 million in operating expenses.
In addition, Chandler works with our neighbors on the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) to provide them with up to 14 million gallons per day of reclaimed water as part of the Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act that increased Chandler's Central Arizona Project water allocation by nearly 14,000 acre-feet per year.