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San Tan’s Copper Basin Water Reclamation Facility Takes Shape

July 10, 2023
Published In: Wastewater


When EPCOR stepped in at the request of regulators to manage a troubled utility – what is now known as the San Tan water and wastewater district – the situation appeared bleak. Pumps were failing, pipes were breaking, and sewer overflows were a routine occurrence. The existing water and wastewater infrastructure could not support existing homes and businesses safely and reliably, let alone the massive wave of growth coming to one of the hottest housing and industrial markets in the United States.

Everything was a priority, but most crucial was replacing Section 11, an existing outdated, lagoon-style wastewater treatment facility filled with sludge, prone to breakage, and the source of odor issues. 

On the heels of the recent Pecan Water Reclamation Facility​ expansion, EPCOR’s new $80 million Copper Basin Water Reclamation Facility is on pace to start operations and close the chapter on Section 11. It is the culmination of five years of continuous improvements across EPCOR’s 160-square-mile San Tan service area. Smaller projects, like pump replacements and installing back-up generators, have been as important as larger ones, like Copper Basin. More than $100 million has been spent on infrastructure improvements to date. 

Copper Basin will use advanced membrane technology to turn collected wastewater into highly treated water that can be returned to the natural water cycle. Once operational, Copper Basin will treat up to 3 million gallons of water daily.

Engineering Project Manager, Christina Shane is focused on bringing the Copper Basin Water Reclamation Facility project across the finish line. 

“It’s incredible to think that five months from now we’ll be running operational tests to bring it online,” said Engineering Project Manager Christina Shane. “It’s been an aggressive schedule, but we’re in the home stretch and it feels really good to know we made it happen.”

About San Tan

EPCOR was appointed interim manager of the troubled utility in 2018 and acquired it in 2020. Covering 160 square miles and a population of roughly 110,000 people, the San Tan district includes unincorporated San Tan Valley and portions of the towns of Florence and Queen Creek in Pinal County. 2023 U.S. Census Bureau data puts Pinal County as the fastest-growing county in Arizona.

For further information, please contact:

Rebecca Stenholm
Director, Public Affairs
Office: (623) 445-2424
Cell: (602) 390-5662

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EPCOR USA is among the largest private utilities in the Southwest and the largest in Arizona, providing water, wastewater and natural gas service to approximately 800,000 people across 42 communities and 18 counties in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. With corporate offices in Phoenix, EPCOR USA employs approximately 550 people.​​
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