Texas city using treated wastewater for drinking - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Texas city using treated wastewater for drinking

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:22 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:22:28 GMT
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a...More >>
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new,...More >>
  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:03:50 GMT
    Richard Parsons, the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, is due to step into the battle of billionaires going on in probate court over the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.More >>
    The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.More >>
  • Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:46:40 GMT
    After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...More >>
    Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia's U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine...More >>
By EMILY SCHMALL
Associated Press

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.

Still, the city's reservoirs are on a trajectory to run dry by August 2016, according to the Texas Water Development Board. The Wichita Falls area needs drinking water for about 150,000 people, and supplies from local reservoirs have plummeted from nearly 90 percent capacity before the drought began in late 2010 to about 20 percent capacity in late June.

"We can't conserve our way out of this," Leiker said.

The city's cloud-seeding experiments to stimulate rain have been unsuccessful. It's considering using a polymer product to coat the surface of its reservoirs to repress evaporation, though a recent field test proved disappointing.

The situation is fallout from Texas' driest year ever in 2011. Since then, when rain has fallen in the western half of the state, it didn't land into lakes' watersheds.

The drought is the second-worst in Texas after the 1950s Dust Bowl, according to the state's climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WQOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact News Director Dan Schillinger at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.