The Alachua County Wastewater Code gives authority to the county to conduct inspections and sample effluent from the 16 wastewater plants (click to see map) operating under permits issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in Alachua County. Eight of these plants are municipal plants and the remaining 11 are smaller plants (also called package plant) located at mobile home parks, apartment complexes, hotels, and schools. ACEPD performs routine inspections, including effluent sampling, and then sends the results to the plant owners and FDEP.
Treated effluent (or reclaimed water) from the wastewater facilities recharges the aquifer via spray irrigation, percolation ponds, or deep well injection or is discharged directly to surface waters. The municipal plants in the cities of Alachua and Gainesville have re-use programs for piping the treated water so it can be re-used for uses such as irrigation. Re-use for irrigation is becoming a more attractive option as water shortages are becoming more common.