Reuse Environmental Assessment 2009 (PDF)
Water Re-Use in Round Rock
The City of Round Rock has been irrigating with reclaimed water for years now. In 1998, the first re-use project was put into use after completing a pipeline from the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Facility to Forest Creek Golf Club.
The Water Re-Use program was created as an effort to incorporate additional cost savings. The City has taken every advantage to reduce costs by 1) using existing facilities like wastewater forcemains where possible, and 2) starting reuse projects in areas close to the wastewater facilities, which minimizes pipeline lengths and pumping costs.
So, where do we go from here? Currently planned Water Re-Use projects will occur in three phases which will provide re-use water throughout the east side of the City.
Phase I - additional treatment, pumping, chlorination, and storage facilities at the Regional WWTP, and 9,000 linear feet of 8, 16-inch transmission and irrigation lines for irrigating in Old Settlers Park to the Round Rock Youth Baseball Complex.
Phase II - additional storage and pumping facilities along with 22,900 linear feet of 8, & 16-inch transmission main to the Higher Education Center and other parks and schools in the northeast part of the city.
Phase III - 1,500 linear feet of 8-inch transmission main and tie-into an existing force main to Stony Point High School.
The City has acquired Federal Funds to help complete the Phase I project. Currently Phase I is under construction and will begin pumping re-use water around June 2012.
The goal is to provide reclaimed water througout the City, in areas economically practical, and make the most of this often overlooked resource.
Re-use in the Beginning
Water Re-use is an idea whose time has come. It started in the early days of wastewater treatment. Folks began by just letting their wastewater sit in a pit in the ground like a shallow well (a cesspool). While it didnít smell very good it worked as a primitive wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Later open ponds were used to collect the wastewater, it was discovered that if the ponds remained at a shallow depth, the dissolved oxygen in the pond water would keep the wastewater aerated so then there was no odor to contend with. Periodically the ponds overflowed when they were overly full or when it rained.
It was then someone thought of using the pond overflow to irrigate the crops that were not used for direct human consumption. This "re-used" water went on crops like grasses or grains for livestock, or growing trees, and so forth. This was and still is, a really great use of the water, especially in areas where the weather was dry and water was scarce.
Wastewater is collected and treated in much more sophisticated ways now of course. It is treated to high quality before being discharged back into our waterways. If the water is high quality, then, why discharge it at all? There are some really good reasons why treated wastewater effluent should not go back into the creek system. These reasons have both economic and environmental aspects.
Re-use conserves scarce and precious raw water supplies by using treated wastewater effluent on parklands and by other large users. Using treated wastewater effluent in place of potable drinking water cuts down on use of raw water supplies freeing up supplies for others.
Re-use conserves the drinking water supply, major capital expenditures and future surface water rights acquisitions. Delaying, reducing or eliminating means holding off major capital improvement projects which costs millions and millions of dollars to the taxpayers.
Reclaimed water is a good source of process water for industries to use at a lower cost to the city and industry as well. It is an incentive to economic growth and development.
Re-use helps optimize the resources already in the wastewater treatment process where a lot of money has been spent treating water to a high level of quality.
Re-use provides good irrigation water to large end-users at a lower cost to them and the city. In turn, it reduces peak daily usage and lowers the number of water rationing days.
For more information regarding Water Re-use please contact
David Freireich at 512-671-2756 or via email Re-use Information
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