At a Glance

Community's wastewater treatment infrastructure is upgraded into an aesthetically pleasing on-site system that also provides habitat for wildlife.

Project Description

Nestled in the Santa Cruz Valley, adjacent to a historic 18th century Spanish village, Barrio de Tubac is an upscale, master-planned community. Desiring wastewater treatment that would be appropriate, given the community’s location and proximity to nearby Tubac Presidio Park and Coronado National Forest, the developer sought an on-site system that would include constructed wetlands. The system would also need to meet all water quality standards set by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for effluent water discharged into the ground and reclaimed for irrigation.

Biohabitats designed a wastewater treatment system featuring constructed wetlands which at full build out is capable of processing 60,000 gallons per day. Currently, the system processes 8,500 to 10,000 gpd in winter months. All wastewater from 327 residential units is collected using a small diameter collection system. Final effluent from the system is reused for landscape irrigation. This eliminates excessive use of precious potable water and provides long-term cost savings. In addition to meeting the development’s wastewater treatment needs, the system is well integrated into the development, and blends aesthetically with local site conditions. It has also improved habitat. Many wildlife species, including songbirds, utilize the constructed wetland as habitat, adding beauty and biodiversity to the community.



Southwest Basin & Range

Physiographic Province

Sonoran Desert


Santa Cruz River

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water


Brasher Real Estate, Inc.


Tubac, Arizona, United States