TRSD announces reclamation facility site

The story is hardly over, but for the Tri-City Sanitary District (TRSD), one long chapter has concluded.

After more than a year of negotiation, and silence imposed by a nondisclosure agreement, TRSD was recently able to announce the location of its future water reclamation facility. The district said it was “extremely pleased to provide, finally, an answer” to the public’s questions about the site.

In a Sept. 13 special meeting, the TRSD Board unanimously approved an agreement with the site owner, BHP Copper Co., with a quitclaim deed transferring the property to TRSD in perpetuity. Under the agreement, TRSD will give BHP the right to purchase 85% of its annually generated A+ effluent for 20 years. The board also stated that net proceeds from all effluent sales – independently from the agreement – will be used to benefit the plant’s long-term operations and district residents.

The water reclamation facility will be located along the west side of State Route 188, on an 8-acre site around 2 miles north of US Highway 60 and immediately east of the Arizona Eastern Railroad right-of-way and Gila County Cattle Growers Association stockyards.

At the special meeting, Project Manager Michael Krebs of PACE (Pacific Advanced Civil Engineering) said the site, which is part of the old Bixby pump station, had never been looked at. He added that it was higher than a nearby location that was previously considered. Krebs said another potential site was declined by BHP due to their Solitude Tailings project. 

Board President Robert Jacques said it was “quite a momentous day for TRSD.”

Negotiations toward the agreement commenced in the third quarter of 2021.

“This was the odyssey,” said Jacques. “We went down to the wire getting the documents; it was incredibly difficult. This is a big, big hurdle we have jumped.”

TRSD Board Member Cameron Farr asked whether site expansion was a possibility. “Absolutely,” Krebs replied, adding that the plant is built for growth. He said the site has to go through zoning, which is in process, but there was enough room for a maintenance facility.

Phase I construction is anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2024.

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