In an effort to conserve water, water and wastewater crews in San Marcos, Texas, are allowing the use of treated wastewater, or reclaimed water, to irrigate construction projects in the city, the website Newstreamz San Marcos reported.
A fill station at the River Road Wastewater Treatment Plant is set up to allow contractors to truck reclaimed water to construction sites.
Under the city’s drought rules, use of alternative water sources such as reclaimed water is exempt from drought restrictions.
“The use of reclaimed water gives us a practical conservation option and is very well suited for these types of projects,” said Tom Taggart, the city’s director of public services.
Because most of the city’s treated wastewater is discharged into an environmentally sensitive stream (the San Marcos River), the water is treated to the highest standards and meets the Type 1 designation, approved for uses where public contact is likely.
“The end-product is actually cleaner than most of the rivers and lakes we use for recreation and raw drinking water sources,” Taggart said.
In August 2000, the city received a reclaimed water authorization from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), allowing use of reclaimed water for cooling towers, process water, construction dust control, kennel cleaning and irrigation of city-owned properties, the website reported.
Other reclaimed water uses include providing water to American National Power for use in its cooling towers and providing reclaimed water to TXI Operations for processing and dust control, pending the construction of a reclaimed water line to the facility.
The city is not allowed to provide reclaimed water to the public for use on private properties under the reclaimed water authorization from TCEQ.
Source: Newstreamz San Marcos