Water is vital to human life and Marana leadership knew that, even back in 1977, when they incorporated 10 square miles in order to retain water rights for current and future residents.

Fast forward to today, and the town is working to keep up with the growing demand of water as its population continues to grow.

The water reclamation facility in Marana treats about 900,000 gallons of wastewater each day.

“We’re using microbiology to clean the water,” Mike Osborne water reclamation operations manager with Marana Water said. “We’re just taking what happens in nature and putting the gas pedal to it and speeding it up. We don’t do any chemical additions. We use UV for disinfection and we use the microbiology that is naturally occurring to help us treat the wastewater.”

The facility even weeds out things flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t be.

“All the rags and debris, kids toys, really everything,” Osborne said.

Besides fishing out toys, an increase in water demand has also been a challenge.

“Some of the biggest challenges we face are that growing need for more and more infrastructure and maintaining the current infrastructure,” Osborne said. “We’re constantly adding new sewer lines, new capacity, but we can’t forget the old stuff either. We have to be able to maintain and operate the existing infrastructure while balancing that growth and installing new infrastructure.”

Prior to Marana using water from the Central Arizona Project, residents relied on groundwater.

Now, as the town grows, they’re hoping to modify their designated assured water supply with the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

“We are working internally to address some of the objections. The next step is the review that’s going take 60 days,” Jing Luo, director at Marana Water said. “So hopefully we’re very hopefully to get this completed by probably March.”

“Water is definitely is vital to human life. Right so, very fortunately that Marana is sitting at a low spot of Tucson,” Luo said. “And as we all know…a big stretch of the Santa Cruz River is running through Marana.”

“Our situation in Marana has been very good for a long time. There is a vast aquafer and that’s what we depend on. We draw all of our water from our wells,” said Asia Philbin, Marana Water Resources Administrator.

As for the future of the water reclamation facility, they hope to expand it and treat up to 3 million gallons a day.