Community News

Altamonte Springs’ A-First Inititative’s Environmental and Cost Benefits

A-FIRST, the City of Altamonte Springs’ innovative water preservation initiative is expected to significantly help the region reuse reclaimed water more efficiently and save the state an estimated $15 million. The groundbreaking took place on June 13, 2014.

By establishing unprecedented strategic partnerships with Florida’s departments of Transportation, Environmental Protection, the St. Johns Water Management District and the City of Apopka, Altamonte Springs has connected multiple government groups and created a unique storm water management program benefitting taxpayers fiscally and environmentally.

The Altamonte-FDOT Integrated Reuse and Storm Water Treatment program or A-FIRST, combines both traditional and creative engineering approaches to storm water management that dramatically increase alternative reclaimed water supplies and significantly reduce pollutant loads to the Little Wekiva River. Additionally, this project will provide the nearby city of Apopka with excess reclaimed water, reducing that city’s impact on Florida’s aquifer.

“As we do in much of our decision making, the City took a business approach to this project and created a smart partnership model designed to generate positive outcomes for the environment, the region and taxpayers,” said Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz. “This validates the idea that unconventional solutions are sometimes the result of doing business differently.”

Specifically, Altamonte Springs’ A-FIRST program:

  • Has never been done in Florida and is possibly the first in the country
  • Will save the state of Florida an estimated $15 million by eliminating the construction of interstate bridges for flood storage and state-owned retention ponds and associated maintenance
  • Will create an estimated 4.5 million gallon per day alternative supply of reclaimed water
  • Is a business-oriented, government solution
  • Will reduce demand on Florida’s aquifer
  • Will immediately reduce nutrient loading to Little Wekiva River

Stated simply, A-FIRST is designed to capture storm water, treat it to reclaimed water standards so it can be used for irrigation rather than it being wasted or lost. Altamonte Springs created the concept, strategically designed the partnerships and will construct the pipeline and operate and maintain the project. Construction is expected to take 18 months, with A-FIRST going live in November 2015.

Altamonte Springs is a city borne of innovation and progressive ideas.  Ranked #1 in America by CNN/Money Magazine, the City boasts one of the lowest tax rates in Florida and is completely debt-free.  Though well known for its business climate and environmental leadership, Altamonte Springs never loses sight of its most important constituent – its residents.  HGTV placed Altamonte Springs as one of the top three destinations in America for families to call home.  The City’s robust events program is the most exciting in the region.  Hosting more than 1 million visitors each year, the City’s programs infuse into our community a sense of excitement and arts almost every day or night of the year.  Altamonte Springs creates an ideal blend of community spirit and activity while fostering a progressive approach to sustainable development and business.

For more information about Altamonte Springs please visit www.Altamonte.org.


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