Wichita Falls, Texas have finally opened their Potable Water Reuse System that has been in the planning since 1990.
They completed the project step by step with the first microfiltration system being installed by 2008.
They had their Direct Potable Reuse system in place before the drought in 2015 and as a result, the city got through without any issues.
During the drought, the city really focused on getting their IPR (Indirect Potable Reuse) up and running as a long-term solution to drought management.
It is now open and ready to start treating wastewater and depositing it into Lake Arrowhead – the city’s main water supply.
The Times Record News reports:
“The IPR can bring 16 million gallons of treated water a day to Lake Arrowhead.
Using treated water that has been discharged into a larger body of water is not a new concept, but it is a process that has never been used in Wichita Falls.
“This will allow us to capture and harvest this resource (water),” Mayor Stephen Santellana said during the ceremony. “Instead of letting it escape, it stays here at home.”
This change in thinking from treating water to capturing resources spurred a change in the name of the plant.
Formerly known as the River Road Wastewater Treatment Plant, the facility will be renamed the City of Wichita Falls Resource Recovery Facility.”
The new IPR will also be able to filter and capture solids to be used as compost, which are then used to add nutrients to the city’s soil and save landfill space.
The design team also plans to build a system that lets them capture the plant’s methane and convert it to electricity to power the plant, effectively making the plant carbon neutral.
The city officials are pleased to see this project finally reach its full potential and make Wichita Falls a much more drought-resistant city.
On the 20th September 2019, The Wichita Falls Direct Potable Reuse and Indirect Potable Reuse Project received the 2019 Texas Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award, an award given to “completed projects that demonstrate the greatest contribution to civil engineering progress and society.”
From an infrastructure asset management perspective, the phased implementation of projects to sustain affordability is good for communities.
The adoption of circular ‘sustainability’ focused projects is also a major trend in current infrastructure asset management practice.
PHOTO CREDIT: The composite image is attributed to the following:
- The Wichita Falls City Hall by © Travis K. Witt – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52444931
- Flag of Wichita Falls, Texas by Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38326712
- The “restored Falls” of the Wichita River by © Travis K. Witt – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52444927