The Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 25 of Ft. Bend County, Texas, wanted to improve its water conservation efforts in the area. Before starting Phase I of its wastewater effluent reuse program in March 2007, most of the potable water in the district was going to two sources: the Houstonian Golf Club and the Orchard Lakes Home Owners Assn. Both organizations were using the water for landscaping, specifically amenity ponds, and for irrigation purposes.
The district wanted to ensure that all of its customers were getting the most use possible from the potable water. It began work, therefore, on a two-phase project to correct the situation, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the use of groundwater or potable water in amenity ponds. MUD No. 25 also hoped to significantly reduce the amount of potable water used in landscape irrigation.
The first phase involved redirecting the wastewater treatment plant’s effluent from nearby Oyster Creek to the golf course and the homeowners association. The district worked with the primary users in a collaborative effort to achieve the new groundwater reduction mandates to reduce surface water.
The benefits of converting to treated effluent helped all involved reap big benefits—for themselves, the community and the region. Phase II of the program, which is ongoing, will include expanding the use of the treated effluent solution for other organizations.
While the district achieved its practical goals, the environment reaped benefits as well. MUD No. 25 points out that every gallon of treated effluent used is one less gallon of groundwater pumped into a plant, treated chemically and put back into nature.
“Our company, constituents, and the local and regional environment enjoy great benefits as a result of implementing the reuse program,” said C. Nicole Cempa, director of risk management and regulatory compliance for MUD No. 25. “We take great pride in being on the forefront of such a worthwhile endeavor.”