News Briefs: City Drops Wastewater Reuse Project

In this week’s news, Wichita Falls, Texas, citing an abundance of water, ends its toilet-to-tap program. Meanwhile, the state starts doling out billions of dollars for water projects.
News Briefs: City Drops Wastewater Reuse Project

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As heavy springtime rains brought relief from the drought that gripped north Texas, the City of Wichita Falls has pulled back from blending a 50-50 mix of treated wastewater with lake water, putting an end to this specific wastewater reuse project.

“We’re in great shape,” Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham told the local rotary club. “Even if we don’t get another drop of runoff, thanks to the rains and redirecting water, we have 20 years of water left.”

Lakes and reservoirs in the area are now to near full levels. The direct potable reuse program will be replaced by a more permanent project known as indirect potable reuse, where treated wastewater will be pumped directly into Lake Arrowhead, according to a report by KERA News.

“Residents seem to have learned the value of conservation. They’re using 16 million to 17 million gallons a day, down from 30 million to 35 million before the drought,” a Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial stated. “Nobody wants that kind of terrible drought to happen again, but everyone knows it’s possible. People who handle it as well as Wichita Falls will be fine.”

Source: Times Record News, KERA News

Water Fund Begins Supplying Billions of Dollars
The Texas Water Development Board has approved nearly $2 billion through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) for water-related projects throughout the state.

Approved projects include water purification plant expansions and transmission pipelines, new water wells, and desalination plants, reports

“We’ve got the technology, we’ve got the funding, but it’s up to the local communities to make it a reality,” says board member Kathleen Jackson.

Money for the fund originally came from voter approval in 2013. Earlier this year, the board received 48 application totaling $5.5 billion. On July 23, the board approved the requests of 21 groups that applied for about $1 billion in projects for the first year and about $3.9 billion over the next decade.

“I felt the inaugural round of SWIFT so far has been a huge success,” says Texas Water Development Board Chairman Bech Bruun. “Whether we are in times of drought or times of plenty, the planning is what we’ll be tied to.”


Colorado Utility Receives Safe Water Award
Fort Collins Utilities was recognized as the first utility in Colorado, and among the first in the nation, to receive the Directors Award in the Partnership for Safe Water’s Distribution System Optimization Program.

“(Achieving this award) shows a commitment to safeguarding our water systems and ensuring public health, as well as providing exceptional drinking water to local homes and businesses,” says the EPA’s Becki Clark.

To be considered for the honor, utilities had to complete a comprehensive assessment that evaluated its water distribution operations and performance, identified limiting factors, and developed action plans to achieve system optimization.

“Being recognized for producing and distributing some of the highest-quality water in North America, even with the challenges associated with the forest fires of 2012 and the floods of 2013, shows the talents and dedication of Fort Collins Utilities employees,” says Fort Collins Utilities Operations Manager Jon Haukaas.

This spring, Fort Collins also received the 15 Year Directors Award of Recognition from the AWWA for its water treatment facility, one of 48 treatment plants nationwide to receive the honor.

Source: AWWA


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