Wastewater Recycling Expands in Texas
Both reclaimed water systems (treated wastewater used for irrigation) and potable reuse systems are expanding in the Fort Worth area and throughout the state of Texas. Although this is partially in response to the current drought, it makes sense even in non-drought times. In Big Spring, a local water authority plans to break ground within the next few months on a $13 million treatment plant that will send about 2 million gallons per day of wastewater that has been extensively treated back into the regular water system that serves Big Spring, Snyder, Odessa and Midland.
The state also has a several "indirect potable reuse" projects that send treated sewage water back into major water systems. One of the newer ones is in the Tarrant Regional Water District (also in the Fort Worth area). The project, in operation since 2009, sends some water from the polluted Trinity River through a specially constructed wetland area and into a reservoir, where it will be reused in the water system. That project is set to expand over the coming decade.
In El Paso, a project that began working in 1985 pumps treated wastewater into the aquifer, where it will eventually be pumped up again for use.