Purified Water

JEA provides more than 330,000 customers with over 120 million gallons of safe, high-quality drinking water every day. And while we have plenty of water right now, a growing population and economy will increase demand in the future.

JEA customers do an excellent job of conserving water, but conservation alone will not assure a sustainable supply for generations to come.

Water Supply Today

Virtually all the water JEA supplies to customers comes from a vast underground source called the Floridan aquifer. It is our best and most cost-effective source. Continually recharged by rainwater, this very pure water requires comparatively little treatment to meet federal and state standards.
How JEA's Water System Works

Water Supply Options for the Future

There are several possible solutions for ensuring a sustainable water supply in the future. While JEA has already implemented robust conservation initiatives and an expansive reclaimed water system for irrigation purposes, one promising approach is aquifer recharge using purified reclaimed water. Other potential solutions include surface water purification and desalination, however each of these comes with differing costs and complexity. As other utilities have demonstrated positive environmental impacts through aquifer recharge, JEA has committed resources to bring this innovative model to Northeast Florida through a three-phased approach.

How Aquifer Recharge Works

  1. Water Reclamation Facility: Water is discharged from homes and businesses and treated at a water reclamation facility.
  2. Water Purification Facility: Here the water is further purified to drinking water standards.
  3. Injection Wells: The purified water is then pumped into the ground to recharge the aquifer. 
  4. Floridan Aquifer: Purified water sustains the aquifer.
  5. Wells: Water is pumped up from the aquifer. 
  6. Drinking Water Plant: Water is treated once again before moving on to the customer, ensuring quality and safety.

With aquifer recharge, we accelerate the earth’s natural water cycle through science and technology.

Three-Phased Approach Currently Underway

Phase 1: Research and Development - Complete

Cost: $2.3 million over 2 years, ended December 2018                              
We have completed testing of two leading technologies, reverse osmosis purification and biologically active filtration, at two of our water reclamation facilities.

Phase 2: Demonstration

Cost: $10-15 million over 4 years 
Following evaluation of the two technologies tested in Phase One, we will move forward with the technology that provides us with the highest quality and cleanest purified water. In the Demonstration Phase, we will scale up daily production capacity up to one million gallons.

Phase 3: Full-Scale Implementation

Cost: $100-500 million over 4 to 5 years for engineering and construction
Following the Demonstration Phase, we will begin producing purified water in large quantities for aquifer recharge.

Meeting the Needs of an Expanding Population

If our research — along with public and stakeholder input — proves that aquifer recharge is the best way to meet our future needs, all of us win.

  • We will have a sustainable water source for future generations.
  • We will continue enjoying safe water produced in a cost-effective manner.
  • Water we now discard will be reused.

At JEA, public health and safety is our highest priority. We will continue to monitor water quality regularly to ensure we provide safe, reliable drinking water to our customers.