Aquifer Storage and Recovery refers to the process of injecting and storing water in an aquifer system during times when water is plentiful (typically during the wet season in South Florida);
During the wet season, water is pumped FROM canals and/or lakes TO the Floridan Aquifer via Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells. ASR can function as a traditional surface water reservoir, without the need of large tract of land;
At the end of the wet season the water is stored in the underground reservoir;
During the dry season, water is pumped TO the canals and/or lakes FROM the reservoir in the Floridan Aquifer, recharging the water supply to the regional system;
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) facilities have been used in Florida and throughout the United States for about 40 years. ASR facilities inject and recover treated and untreated groundwater, partially treated surface water and reclaimed wastewater. ASR technology can store more water than a typical aboveground reservoir. An ASR system also can provide large volumes of water over longer periods of time, increasing water supplies during seasonal and multi-year droughts.
Most ASR facilities in Florida store water in the upper Floridan Aquifer, primarily in areas where the aquifer is brackish or somewhat salty. The injected fresh water displaces brackish water in the aquifer to form a "freshwater bubble," which may be highly irregular in shape.
The District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have successfully constructed and tested two pilot ASR systems along the Kissimmee River and the Hillsboro Canal as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The test results should provide a vast amount of data about the ASR concept and how it is proposed to be used in CERP. The final report on the pilot projects is available below.