Texas, A Proving Ground for Direct Potable Reuse

5 Feb 2014
Available with corporate subscription

On 27 January 2014, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) began testing reclaimed water in Wichita Falls, Texas. The 23,000 m3/d system is an emergency measure to supplement reservoir supplies heavily depleted by the on-going Texas drought. At the conclusion of testing, water from the city’s wastewater treatment plants will be added to Wichita Fall’s municipal supply, passing through a reverse osmosis filtration system.

The Wichita Falls reuse system is leveraging the municipalities existing reverse osmosis treatment system and therefore has only required piping supplied by ISCO.  The reuse system’s estimated cost is US$13 million. The 2012 State Water Plan is the ninth state water plan and the third plan based on the regional water planning process. The next plan is slated for 2017. The current 2012 plan calls for a 185% increase in reuse capacity between 2010 and 2060 to 3.1 million m3/d. This increase has been estimated to surpass US$5 billion. At the same time, desalination capacity is forecasted to increase 450% to 1 million m3/d.

Bluefield Takeaways

  • Growing demand, emergency measures drive investment in innovative water strategies.
  • Long-term questions remain, opening door to innovative solutions.
  • Texas water rights shape reuse strategies.