Reuse Water Project to Begin Any Day

KFDX Channel 3, Wichita Falls, Texas, 07/07/14

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Any day now Wichita Falls water users should be drinking water mixed with the recycled water from the River Road Treatment Plant. The final touches are being made at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant to make sure everything is connected and ready to go.

And the River Road Wastewater Treatment Plant is where the water that goes down your drain ends up before going through multiple treatments. It's where one of the many disinfection processes starts, taking out many harmful elements before the water even travels down the 12 miles of pipe to the Cypress Treatment Plant.

By the time recycled water is flowing through faucets it will have been through 7 filtration and disinfection processes to make sure it's safe. And as Operations Manager Daniel Nix tells us, it also gets blended with lake water and filtered through a state of the art reverse osmosis facility.

"If you want to remove anything in water, reverse osmosis is what you use because it is so effective," Nix explained.

But if something harmful was to get through all the treatments, city officials say it would be caught by one of the 57 alarm triggers, shutting down parts or all of the plant, and the direct potable reuse system.

"We will shutdown the DPR and we'll revert back to 100% lake water, which is something that can be done within a matter of minutes," said Nix.

The plant is staffed 24/7 with many different tests being run throughout the day. It's a system designed to make sure the water is safe, but some say they still won't drink the recycled water. Others feel like it's the best solution to getting through this drought.

"Well I probably won't. We've been buying this bottled water and drinking it at home because right now we don't know for sure, what it's gonna be like," one citizen said.

"I would drink it, I mean If you get thirsty enough. And for our economic situation around here, keeping people working, jobs somewhere down the line we've got to do something," said another.

Nix says the reuse project may actually ease some concerns about city water because it may be a little better than the lake water currently used.

"I think the water is gonna taste better and it's going to be as safe if not safer," said Nix.

Right now there is no start date for the reuse project water to start being used but it could be any day now.