Reuse Environmental Assessment 2009 (PDF)
Water Reuse in Round Rock
The City of Round Rock has been irrigating with reclaimed water for years now. In 1998, the first reuse project was put into use after completing a pipeline from the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Facility to Forest Creek Golf Club.
The Water Reuse 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 Reuse projects will occur in three phases which will provide reuse 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. This was completed in the Spring of 2012; the park has been irrigating trees and sports facilities with reuse water since completion.
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 II is under construction.
The goal is to provide reclaimed water throughout the City, in areas economically practical, and make the most of this often overlooked resource.
Reuse in the Beginning
Water Reuse 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 didn’t 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 collection and treatment is much more sophisticated now. 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.
Reuse conserves scarce and precious raw water supplies by using it on parklands and by other large users (i.e. golf courses). Using treated wastewater effluent in place of potable drinking water cuts down on use of raw water supplies, freeing up supplies for others.
Reuse 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.
Reuse 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.
Reuse 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 Reuse please contact
David Freireich at 512-671-2756 or via email Reuse Information
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