Texas moves towards direct potable reuse

The US state of Texas has taken a step towards direct potable water reuse (DPR) with the Texas Water Development Board awarding a study project to Alan Plummer Associates Inc, consultants based in the state.

The primary goal of the project is to create a guidance document that can be used by utilities, agencies and consultants as a reference for sound technical information and recommendations related to the implementation of DPR projects (or indirect potable reuse (IPR) projects with limited environmental buffers) in Texas.

The proposed approach includes the development of water quality performance goals and identification of specific treatment schemes that can be used to achieve these goals.

This year’s drought has demonstrated the challenges Texas faces to meet its water supply needs through traditional supplies as well as supplemental strategies such as water reuse.

Significant progress has been made in advancing water reuse strategies in the state, both for direct non-potable reuse and IPR. However, due to the recent drought and heightened awareness of the scarcity of water, a number of entities are interested in pursuing more direct forms of potable reuse that eliminate or minimize the role of an environmental buffer.

APAI has extensive water-reuse experience and unique depth of understanding and broad perspectives about reuse. The company says that its understanding of the myriad of issues, influences, and opportunities that must be balanced and addressed concerning potable water reuse both in Texas and throughout the nation was a key component of its selection.

APAI’s team will be led by Dr Ellen McDonald, recognized as a premiere expert in water reuse within the state. The project also includes participation by a number of APAI clients who are key water-supply stakeholders. The firm will also coordinate with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other appropriate agency interests.


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