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SWIFT is an innovative water purification project in eastern Virginia designed to further protect the region’s environment, enhance the sustainability of the region’s long-term groundwater supply and help address environmental pressures such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion.

The project will take highly treated water that would otherwise be discharged into the Elizabeth, James or York rivers and purify it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to meet drinking water standards. The purified water will then be added to the Potomac aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia.

Good to Know

Our water is too valuable to waste. SWIFT would provide a sustainable resource to replenish groundwater for generations to come.
 
SWIFT has completed an important pilot phase and is now one step closer to the goal of replenishing the Potomac Aquifer with purified water.
 
Read the latest SWIFT Press Release

A Forward Looking Solution


Purified

SWIFT’s Advanced Water Treatment Process, currently used to produce drinking water throughout the country and the world, would produce purified water that is reliable and safe.


Replenishing

Groundwater is being used in eastern Virginia at rates faster than it can be naturally replaced. Adding purified water back into the ground would replenish this natural resource and protect the Potomac Aquifer from further damage caused by overuse.


Sustainable

SWIFT would give our communities a sustainable and safe source of groundwater. This resource would support our economy by providing businesses with the water they need to operate.

 

Addressing Sea Level Rise

Taking water out of the ground at the current rate has led to sinking of land in some parts of eastern Virginia. This makes us more vulnerable to rising sea levels and the associated impacts.

Replenishing the aquifer with HRSD’s purified water can help slow or even reverse the sinking of land due to withdrawal. Scientists believe that overuse of the aquifer causes about 25 percent of the sinking of land in parts of eastern Virginia.

Replenishing our overdrawn aquifer can improve the environment and help our communities adapt to rising seas, contributing to the resiliency of our region.

Helping the Chesapeake Bay

Restoring the health and productivity of the Chesapeake Bay largely depends on reducing the amount of nutrients and sediment that enter Chesapeake Bay waters.

Replenishing groundwater with HRSD’s purified water will effectively eliminate more than 90 percent of HRSD’s discharge to local waters. This will reduce the total amount of nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen reaching the receiving streams, and ultimately the Bay.

See how we will purify water and replenish the Potomac aquifer at our SWIFT Research Center

The extensive and systematic steps of SWIFT’s Carbon-Based Advanced Water Treatment Process ensure that the purified water is reliable, safe and protective of our groundwater resources.

Our water is carefully and continuously monitored to meet strict drinking water safety standards.

At the SWIFT Research Center, scientists and engineers will purify up to one million gallons of water each day and demonstrate adding it safely to the Potomac aquifer.

  • Carbon-Based Advanced Water Treatment was tested in a small-scale pilot project at HRSD’s York River Treatment Plant before being implemented at the SWIFT Research Center.

Want to know more about SWIFT? Watch our video.

What Others Are Saying

Why is SWIFT good for the Bay? Check out this ‘SWIFT Remark’ by Ted Henifin.

Can you imagine a day without water? Read more to find out how SWIFT fits into the national effort to ensure nobody goes a day without reliable water and wastewater service.

Floating floors should never literally ‘float’ down your hallway, but they did for our Community Educator, Molly! Read her Hurricane Matthew story and find out what’s being done to reduce the effects of sea level rise in her latest blog post!