Aquifer Storage and Recovery: Atlantic City, New Jersey
The Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA) has developed an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) system to provide sustainable water supply for Atlantic City designed to meet and conform with regional water supply and environmental goals.
Atlantic City has long relied on mainland surface water and groundwater sources to meet the water supply needs of this seaside community. Water derived from these sources is treated and piped 5 miles across the bay to the city’s distribution system and customers located on Absecon Island. This configuration imposes a number of limitations on the volume of available water and on vulnerability of the water system to disruption should the transmission mains become inoperable.
In order to address these concerns, the ACMUA conceived of an ASR system based on Absecon Island to store treated drinking water during low demand periods so that it would be available for use during peak demand periods or on an emergency basis due to disruption of the transmission mains.
The ASR system stores water in the Atlantic City 800-foot sand aquifer through a series of three combination injection/supply wells, with a combined nominal production capacity of 5 MGD. The 800-foot sand aquifer was selected for this project due to its favorable geochemical and hydrologic properties. Distribution system water can be delivered to the aquifer with a minimum of required treatment, and will maintain high quality during the storage phase with little degradation.
In conjunction with this system Atlantic City has proposed to increase reliance on the 800-Foot Sand Aquifer as a water supply source and potentially to reduce pumpage from the shallow Kirkwood Cohansey aquifer system. This will achieve several regional water supply objectives, including streamflow depletion and the potential ecological effects on stream habitats which have been associated with excessive reliance on shallow groundwater sources.