Wichita Falls set to start up DPR plant in May

Direct potable reuse of wastewater could be making its debut in Texas, USA, in early May 2014, as testing of water produced by the Temporary Water Reuse Project at the City of Wichita Falls continues to show the water is safe to drink.

The installation of the project was completed in late December 2013 and is currently undergoing an intense 45‑day testing protocol, as required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Assuming a positive result, the US$ 13 million project will use 7.5 MGD (28,400 m³/d) of wastewater to provide 5 MGD (18,900 m³/d) of drinking water (⅓ of the city’s daily demand) and is expected to be online by 1 May. The treated wastewater will go to the Cypress Water Treatment plant to blended for treatment with water from Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo.

Wichita Falls is also “aggressively pursuing” a US$ 35 million Indirect Potable Reuse Project, which will ultimately take all of wastewater to Lake Arrowhead for storage and ultimate use. This project will recycle 12‑16 MGD (45,000-60,000 m³/d) and will take 3‑5 years to complete. A permit application has been submitted to the TCEQ and right-of-way acquisition has begun.

The city already has a membrane plant, the Microfiltration/Reverse Osmosis Plant, which uses Lake Kemp as a water source, providing an additional 10 MGD (38,000 m³/d) of water per day. This was built following the 1999‑2000 drought.

Wichita Falls began pursuing both of the current reuse projects in April 2012 with lake levels just slightly under 60% capacity or Stage 1 of the drought plan. With lake levels currently half that, a Stage 4 drought order is currently in force, with all outside watering using city water banned.