FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — As much of Texas grapples with lingering drought, a second city in the Lone Star State has begun reusing treated wastewater in a state-approved recycling process to bolster drinking supplies.
Wichita Falls, near the Oklahoma border, on Wednesday began reusing millions of gallons of water at the River Road Waste Treatment plant that's been purified to meet government drinking standards. The water is then sent by a 12-mile pipeline to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant for additional purification.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved Wichita Falls' proposal for a toilet-to-tap reuse program for up to six months.
The West Texas town of Big Spring, whose spring dried up decades ago, implemented an indirect potable reuse program — where effluent flows into another body of water before being treated — earlier this year. The water is then filtered through reverse osmosis. The city of Brownwood, about 80 miles south of Abilene, has approval for a project similar to Wichita Falls' to treat 1.5 million gallons of water daily, but it has not started doing so.
Wichita Falls is operating under a Stage 5 drought catastrophe, in which outdoor watering is banned and conservation is urged. Demand for city water has dropped 45 percent, according to City Manager Darron Leiker.
Continue reading this story on the...