Texas city advances on reuse

The Texas, USA city of Weatherford is progressing with plans to reuse treated wastewater, which would save the city significant sums of money according to the Weatherford utility board.

Weatherford has appointed consulting firm Freese and Nichols to complete a study for the proposed reuse programme. Consultant with Freese and Nichols, Tom Gooch, said once established, the programme will enable the city to consume less water from Tarrant Regional Water District and help maintain Weatherford Lake’s minimum level – a utility board requirement. “Really, the only difference [is] rather than building a pump station on the creek, you’d build a pump station at the treatment plant,” Gooch said, adding that the functions of both are essentially the same.

Gooch said the city should reconsider the benefits of diverting treated water from the wastewater plant to Lake Weatherford rather than allowing all discharge to flow back into Town Creek, where the city currently pumps its effluent, before pumping it back to the lake. 

The reasoning for this according to Weatherford’s director of utilities, James Hotopp “has to do with water rights”. He added: “Through our conversations with Tarrant Regional Water District and discussions we have had with the state, we have looked at the best way that we can get the most available water rights from this project.”

The cost of each project is fairly similar said Gooch with Town Creek totaling US$ 11.7 million, and the wastewater treatment plant totaling US$ 12.4 million. The reason construction on the plant would cost more is because additional storage space would needed.

The Freese and Nichols study will enforce phosphorous limits at either discharge point. Originally the city believed the creek discharge would not be subject to this.