Drought forces people to drink treated sewage

2014-07-10 12:32

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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 19km 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 programme for up to six months.

The West Texas town of Big Spring, whose spring dried up decades ago, implemented an indirect potable reuse programme, 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 128km south of Abilene, has approval for a project similar to Wichita Falls' to treat 56 million litres 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%, 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% capacity before the drought began in late 2010 to about 20% 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.
Read more on:    us  |  recycling  |  water  |  conservation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.