BSMAR 17 is pleased to offer a comprehensive field trip the afternoon of Friday October 9, 2020 to three MAR projects in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Cost: $45 (Early), $65 (Regular), $85 (At the Door)


Attendees will tour three MAR projects in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The first project is a multi-benefit in-channel recharge project, the second is an aquifer storage recovery (ASR) well project and the last is an off-channel spreading basin project. 

Tres Rios Wetlands Project

The Tres Rios Wetlands Project tour led by City of Phoenix staff will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Flow Regulating Wetlands (FRW) which is normally closed to the public. The FRW serve as a polishing treatment for the effluent before it is discharged to the Salt River. The Overbank Wetlands Area, downstream of the FRW, includes two and a half miles of constructed wetlands, riparian connectors, and a mesquite bosque. The diverse habitat provides an ideal structure for a wide variety of wildlife and an exciting recreation opportunity for the visiting public. The final Tres Rios Wetlands Project stop will include a view of the restoration efforts and challenges with managing an active river corridor (the Salt River.) 


Tres Rios, meaning Three Rivers, is an exciting project near the confluence of the Salt, Gila, and Agua Fria Rivers west of Phoenix. Owned and operated by the City of Phoenix Water Services Department, this series of wetlands provides flood protection for the local residents, restores vital habitat for native plants and animals, promotes environmental education and recreation opportunities, and helps improve water quality. Additional benefits are groundwater recharge into the alluvial aquifer below the facility and in the receiving Gila River and the maintenance of high groundwater elevations which support riparian habitat in both areas. Highly treated effluent from the adjacent 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant provides the water needed to sustain this complex and amazing project.



In 2000, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received approval from Congress for the Tres Rios Ecosystem Restoration and Flood Control Project. The City of Phoenix partnered with the Corps to improve and enhance a 7-mile long, almost 700-acre section along the Salt and Gila Rivers in southwestern Phoenix. 65% of the project’s funding came from the federal government, with 35% coming from the local sponsor, the City of Phoenix and other Sub-Regional Operating Group members (Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, and Mesa). Technical and financial assistance was also provided by the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. Construction lasted from 2007 – 2012. 

A key component of the restoration was the re-establishment of native riparian vegetation and the promotion of additional habitat for threatened and endangered species including the Yellow-billed cuckoo, Yuma Ridgeway’s Rail, and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.


A project of this size and complexity contains a variety of challenges ranging from water quality; permitting; security and vandalism; and operations and maintenance for only five (5) full-time employees. Additionally, salt cedar is rampant in the seed bank which requires constant attention. 

Cave Creek Water Reclamation Plant Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project Well

The City of Phoenix Cave Creek Water Reclamation Plant Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Well recharges treated surface water supplies directly into the aquifer.  The goal of this dual purpose well system is to store underutilized potable supplies underneath Phoenix and to be able to access this supply during periods of system outage and or moderate drought.  The design of this ASR well is unique because glass beads and silica sand are installed in the well screen annulus.  The goal in designing this stacked filter pack media was to evaluate the long-term hydraulic performance of the filter pack media during recharge operations (glass beads versus silica sand).  This ASR well has been operating since 2015 and has consistently been recharging 1.6 Million Gallon per Day (1.150 gpm-recharge and 1,500 gpm pumping).    

New River Aqua Fria River Underground Storage Project

The New River Agua Fria River Underground Storage Project (NAUSP) is a spreading-basin groundwater recharge facility located in Glendale, Arizona.  It is co-owned by the municipalities Avondale, Glendale, Peoria and Chandler.  The Salt River Project (SRP) is also a co-owner and is the manager/operator of the facility.  Located directly adjacent to the New River just upstream from the confluence with the Agua Fria River, NAUSP utilizes six off-channel basins totaling approximately 120 acres.  Water types recharged at the facility include various classes of surface water distributed from SRP’s adjacent Grand Canal, and treated effluent delivered via pipelines from both Glendale and Peoria wastewater treatment plants.  Opened in 2007, NAUSP has recharged just over 225,000 acre feet of wateras of the end of 2019 and is currently permitted to recharge up to 75,000 acre feet per year.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel your registration before March 15, we will provide a full refund minus a 10% processing fee; after September 15, we will only refund 50% of your registration fee.

Attendee substitution policy: If you request a change of attendee(s) before September 15, we will apply a 5% processing fee; after September 15, the processing fee is 10% of your registration cost.