The Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD) in Texas, USA, is anticipating the construction phase early in 2011 of its first regional water reclamation plant, which will be membrane-based and located in Big Spring.

The plant will have a capacity of 2 MGD (7,500 m³/d) of reclaimed water and will use membrane filtration, reverse-osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection. Start-up is expected in spring 2012.

The project cost is estimated at approximately US$ 12 million. A purchase order has been issued to the manufacturer of the water treatment equipment so that they can complete the final design and begin manufacturing the equipment, which will then be assigned to a general contractor for installation.

The CRMWD project will capture the Big Spring effluent before it is discharged and using current technology treat the water to municipal water quality standards. There are several industries in the Big Spring area that are interested in the water because of its quality, and any reclaimed water that is not used for industrial purposes will be blended with CRMWD’s raw water supplies for municipal use.

Because of the location of the Big Spring facility, the reclaimed water will be blended with raw water from the EV Spence Reservoir and Lake JB Thomas and then delivered to the cities of Big Spring, Stanton, Midland and Odessa for treatment again by those cities.

CRMWD has studied other locations for regional water-reclamation plants including Snyder and the Odessa-Midland area. The Big Spring location was chosen as the first site because it had the lowest cost of the three sites.

If all three facilities were in operation (Big Spring, Odessa-Midland and Snyder), it is estimated that approximately 12,000 acre-feet (14.8 million m³) of water could be reclaimed each year. This is about 20% of the water used by those four cities today.

CRMWD is also investigating brackish water sources in the Big Spring area that may be able to be reclaimed, and the Big Spring facility is being designed to expansion of capacity to 5 MGD (18,900 m³/d).