Pima Association of Governments is the Designated Planning Agency under Section 208 of the federal Clean Water Act and, as such, is responsible for regional wastewater treatment planning throughout Pima County, excluding tribal lands.
PAG maintains and updates the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (208 Plan) for the region. Under state and federal regulations, all new or significantly changed wastewater treatment facilities must gain consistency with the 208 before permits may be issued. PAG’s 208 amendment process is outlined in the 208 plan, which was approved by the Regional Council in March 2006. If a facility is not consistent with the plan, an amendment must be approved before the facility can be permitted by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department designs, manages and maintains the sanitary sewer system in Pima County, including the conveyance system and treatment system. The department manages three metropolitan wastewater treatment plants (Roger Road, Ina Road and Randolph Park), as well as eight outlying facilities.
PAG conducts regional wastewater planning in coordination with the Town of Sahuarita and Pima County, the region’s two designated management agencies (DMA). The DMAs are responsible for ensuring that wastewater service is provided in their management areas.
In 2009, Pima County gained approval for a 208 amendment to ensure that it can meet near-term future effluent water quality standards as established by ADEQ. When improvements are completed, Ina Road Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) will have capacity of 50 million gallons per day (MGD), a new 32 MGD water reclamation campus (WRC) which will be constructed near the Roger Road WRF, and a gravity plant-interconnect pipeline that will transport a portion of the wastewater from the Roger Road WRC to the Ina Road WRF.
The total two-plant capacity of 82 MGD will serve the county’s municipal treatment needs through the 2030 planning horizon. The facilities will include full aesthetics, noise and odor controls and effluent will be either reused through the City of Tucson’s reclaimed water system or discharged to the Santa Cruz River.
Town of Sahuarita
The Town of Sahuarita became a Designated Management Agency in 1999. The DMA was revised in consultation with PAG, the Town and Pima County with the March 2006 Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (208 Plan). Because some areas near Sahuarita could be served in the future by either the Town or Pima County, the March 2006 208 Plan designated Joint Planning Areas around the Town’s DMA. These areas are not officially assigned to either DMA at this time. Instead, Pima County and the Town of Sahuarita will work together to decide who will serve these areas when the need for service arises. The Town currently operates the Sahuarita Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves the Rancho Sahuarita master-planned community.
In September 2008, ADEQ issued a significant amendment to the aquifer protection permit authorizing the Town to operate the Sahuarita water treatment plant at a maximum average monthly flow of 1.5 million gallons per day (MGD). Construction of the 1.5 MGD expansion will be completed later in 2009.
Town of Marana
The Town of Marana is currently seeking a 208 amendment to become a Designated Management Agency within the Town’s planning area. PAG is facilitating the Scope of Work Task Force for the amendment. Meeting agendas and minutes, as well as the most recent draft amendment are posted on the PAG Web site.