Cynthia Embach / Lead Environmental Health and Safety Professional and Brian Powers / Crystal River North Station Manager

Protecting Florida’s Precious Water Resources

Making better use of municipal reclaimed water – or treated wastewater – is a useful and popular sustainability success story.

A great example is Duke Energy’s Crystal River coal-fired units 4 and 5 on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The units receive between 750,000 and 800,000 gallons of treated wastewater a day from the city of Crystal River.

Instead of releasing reclaimed water over the city’s wastewater spray field, underground infrastructure transports the water to the power plant to support the energy generating process.

  • It reduces by nearly one-third the amount of fresh water drawn from existing wells to support the on-site pollution control equipment.
  • It eliminates wastewater discharges over the city’s spray field and reduces the amount of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the Crystal River/Kings Bay springshed.

The project is a public-private partnership among the city of Crystal River, Duke Energy, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Southwest Florida Water Management District.

During the next several years, as the city of Crystal River upgrades its sewer systems, Duke Energy expects to increase the amount of reclaimed water received to 1.5 million gallons a day.

During the next several years, as the city of Crystal River upgrades its sewer systems, Duke Energy expects to increase the amount of reclaimed water received to 1.5 million gallons a day.

In addition to Crystal River, three other Duke Energy plants in Florida – the Hines Energy Complex, the Intercession City Plant and the Osprey Energy Center – are using reclaimed water in energy generation, further reducing our water footprint.