The advanced mobile water purification trailer (also known as the “AZ Pure Water Challenge Truck" or "beer truck”) has gotten a lot of mileage, both road miles and in terms of capturing the attention and imagination of groups throughout the state and beyond.
Developed as a team effort by multiple organizations – led by Pima County and including the University of Arizona, Tucson Water, and other WEST members – the beer truck produces safe, high-quality potable water through an advanced treatment process. With increasing demands placed on existing water supplies in the arid southwest, the project’s intent was to introduce potable water reuse as a viable source of additional water supply. It received Arizona’s first potable reuse permit – rescinding a multi-decade statewide prohibition – and set out on an ambitious journey: to demonstrate the potential of direct potable reuse (DPR) and begin a dialog throughout the state.
The response has been enormous. In November 2016, the truck was announced as the winner of the New Arizona Prize: Water Innovation Challenge for developing the most innovative market-based, technological, or entrepreneurial solution to advance the sustainability of its water future. It also won the Audience Choice Award and WaterNow Alliance technical assistance prize and, in July 2018, captured the AZ WateReuse Project of the Year Award at the AZ WateReuse Annual Symposium. According to Barbara Escobar, CRAO Manager at Pima County's Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD), the truck is a contender for several other honors as well, including Arizona Forward’s Environmental Excellence Award and the 2018 WateReuse Transformational Innovation Award.
The mobile water purification trailer has made good on its promise to serve as a demonstration piece for the public, inviting discourse and expanding knowledge and understanding of direct potable reuse. It’s been on the move! From Flagstaff to Phoenix to Tucson and beyond, the mobile water purification truck has traveled over 7,700 miles, producing 94,000 gallons of water, 22,000 bottles of AZ Pure Water, and 99,000 pints of high purity craft beer.
... and it shows no sign of slowing down.
In the months ahead, the mobile treatment trailer has engagements across the country:
- Boise, Idaho (Aug. 28-30, 2018): The beer truck will be used to introduce DPR to the state of Idaho, making water at a Boise wastewater treatment facility on Aug. 28-29, followed by an event with the governor on Aug. 30.
- Austin, Texas (Sept. 9-12, 2018): The truck will be on display on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the 33rd Annual WateReuse Symposium in Austin, Texas.
There are also plans in the works to take the truck out closer to home (details TBD):
- Tucson, AZ (Oct. 25-27, 2018): University of Arizona Homecoming
- Green Valley, AZ (Nov. 10, 2018): Green Valley Pecan Festival
Keep a lookout!