The MARS Management Improvements project expands Manatee County’s ability to offer a sustainable non-potable water source. It also reduces groundwater withdrawals from the potable water aquifer. And it centralizes reclaimed water (RCW) operations and enables staff to more effectively allocate resources by predicting water movement, needs and usage.
Manatee County completed the original Manatee Agricultural Reuse System (MARS) program in 2006. MARS connected the reclaimed water distribution networks of the county’s three water reclamation facilities (WRFs). This enabled the County to effectively distribute reclaimed water throughout the county to meet residential, commercial and agricultural needs.
Since that time, however, Manatee County’s population, and its RCW needs, have grown and evolved dramatically. Increased residential and bulk user applications require higher water quality and greater pressure than agricultural users. In addition, seasonal demands and availability can complicate operations.
The MARS Management Improvements project centralizes RCW operations to better monitor system flows and pressures. This, in turn, allows staff to better plan for seasonal and storm impacts. This also improves operation energy efficiency, boosts the beneficial reuse of reclaimed water, enhances component reliability, and facilitates reclaimed water management decisions and implementation.
An innovative SCADA system and Reclaimed Water Balance Model allow staff to access historical water data and mine meteorological data. This data is then used to predict water movement, needs and usage; minimize the amount of RCW sent to deep wells; and optimize pond levels.
Manatee County supplies approximately 17 million gallons per day of reclaimed water. The County distributes approximately 38 percent to agricultural users, 11 percent for golf course irrigation and 51 percent for residential and commercial use.
“The MARS Management Improvements project helps the County achieve its sustainability goals by minimizing the use of potable water—one of our most valuable resources—and replacing it with reclaimed water.” — Manatee County Resident