ACMUA’s Journey to Implementing an Aquifer Storage and Recovery Well


  • Jim Lloyd - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Ernest Gratz - Atlantic City MUA

The Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority’s (ACMUA) Water Treatment Plant has a treatment capacity of 22 million gallons per day (MGD). The current average daily water demands are about 12 MGD; however, the City’s demand can sometimes peak at 15-20 MGD during the summer resort season. As a result, the City’s water distribution system could be vulnerable if a large demand/fire flow scenario occurred during a peak/summer season.

The ACMUA needed to supplement its water supply and the storage capacity within its distribution system to handle such fire flow events and peak demands. The construction of an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) well was identified as a way to increase the ACMUA’s ability to provide additional water to meet peak demands. The goal was to inject treated water from the distribution system for 9 months into an aquifer via the ASR well, followed by a pump out mode for 3 months during the peak/summer demand period.

The first step of the process was to conduct a study which would identify the most feasible location(s) for the installation of an ASR well; investigate recharge aquifer zones and rates; characterize source water quality; and ascertain potential impacts on other aquifer users. Once the aquifer formation and site were identified, the project moved into the permitting and design phases – both of which presented several challenges. The subsequent construction phase offered various lessons learned. After a long journey, the well house was deemed substantially complete in the summer of 2012 and has been operating for several years. Since full-time operation of the ASR well commenced, the ACMUA has experienced some issues with well yield and water quality which will also be touched upon.

This presentation will provide a full overview of the study, permitting, design, construction and initial years of operation.

For more information, please contact the author at

Hear about new publications with our email newsletter

We will never share your details with anyone else.


Newsletter Newsletter

Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

View previous issues »